National marine sanctuary offices and visitor centers closed to the public; waters remain open

NOAA's national marine sanctuary offices and visitor centers are currently closed to the public, and in accordance with Executive Order 13991 - Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask Wearing, all individuals in NOAA-managed areas are required to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on mask-wearing and maintaining social distances. Sanctuary waters remain open for responsible use in accordance with CDC guidance, U.S. Coast Guard requirements, and local regulations. More information on the response from NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries can be found on

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Permits, Regulations, and Enforcement


The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) is managed under the authority of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA). Under the NMSA the MBNMS has the ability to grant permits for prohibited activities and enforce sanctuary regulations. Information contained in these pages will assist you to plan a project, report an incident of concern, or to simply learn more about protecting the magnificent natural resources found within the waters of the sanctuary.

More Information

Regulations & Boundaries

Information about federal law, regulations, prohibitions, and boundary and special zone maps of the sanctuary.

bondry map


Federal law protects natural and cultural resources of the sanctuary. Federal and California law enforcement officers patrol the sanctuary and respond to incidents that pose a threat to marine resources and qualities.

enforcement aircraft

Do I Need A Permit?

Activities normally prohibited or restricted by sanctuary regulations may sometimes be authorized through a permit issued by the sanctuary superintendent.

beach development

Partners and Links

Federal, state, and local agencies that sanctuary staff routinely coordinate and collaborate with on regulatory, permit, and enforcement issues within the MBNMS.