Kemp's Ridley sea turtle tracks at Padre Island National Seashore, now part of the National System of Marine Protected Areas (Courtesy: National Park Service).
A total of 82 existing marine protected areas were recently added to the National System of Marine Protected Areas. This addition brings the total number of marine protected areas in the national system to 437.
Anacapa Island State Marine Reserve in the Channel Islands is one of the new additions to the National System of Marine Protected Areas.
Sites in the national system remain under the management of the agency that established them, but work voluntarily and cooperatively together to address common management problems, such as adapting to climate change impacts or managing emerging ocean uses.
The national system was established in 2008, to connect and strengthen the nation’s diverse marine protected area programs managed by federal, state, territorial, tribal, and local governments. Examples of marine protected areas include national marine sanctuaries, national parks, national wildlife refuges, and their state counterparts.
Eighty of the new additions are state marine protected areas established through California’s Marine Life Protection Act and are managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The remaining two additions are Padre Island National Seashore in Texas and Redwoods National Park in California.
The National Marine Protected Areas Center serves as the nation’s hub for building innovative partnerships and tools to protect special ocean places. It is located within NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and works in partnership with the Department of the Interior.