MBNMS Regulations and Boundaries
The National Marine Sanctuaries Act of 1972 is a federal law that directs the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to create national marine sanctuaries in special ocean areas of the United States and develop plans and regulations for their management and protection.
NOAA designated the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) in September 1992 and issued detailed regulations that defined sanctuary boundaries, management programs, prohibited activities, permit procedures, etc.
This section provides information about the authority and jurisdiction of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The sanctuary manages a 6,094 square statute miles (4,601 nmi2) ocean area from the mean high tide line to as far as 50 miles offshore between Cambria and the Marin Headlands.
The MBNMS regulations that receive the most interest from the public are those prohibiting activities, such as ocean dumping and wildlife harassment. Summarized and detailed, interactive descriptions of the prohibitions and other MBNMS regulations are available below. There are additional links for information about the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, MBNMS jurisdictional boundaries, and special regulatory zones.