The long coastline of the Sanctuary, including stretches of dense urbanization and four harbors, creates ample threats and opportunities for maintaining a healthy ecosystem. Uses of the Sanctuary include transportation, recreational boating, fishing, scuba diving, surfing, research, whale watching, kelp harvesting, aquaculture, and waste disposal (sanitary discharges, dredge spoil disposal, cooling water disposal, industrial waste discharge). In addition, over 7000 square miles of watersheds immediately adjacent to the Sanctuary drain to its wetlands and marine waters.
In addition to its mandates for resource protection, research and education, MBNMS is also mandated to facilitate multiple use of the Sanctuary, provided those uses are consistent with the primary goal of resource protection. Protection of the ecosystem as a whole while facilitating multiple use requires many partnerships between the Sanctuary program, resource management agencies, scientists, businesses, educators, local communities and the public.
Resource management issues within the region are briefly described under the lists on the left, along with the Sanctuary's current involvement in the issue.
More information is available for the following Resource Management Issues: