Conserving special places in our coastal and marine environment is a great way to balance the often competing and occasionally conflicting demands of coastal resource use, economic development, and conservation. Programs such as NOAA's National Marine Sanctuaries and the National Estuarine Research Reserve System enable communities to come together to study, discuss, and find solutions to a broad range of pressing problems in specific regions around the nation. These special places are focal points that encourage partnerships in science, education, technology, management, and community.
"Place-based conservation" means focusing on conservation methods and issues as they pertain to a specific place or region. These types of programs are designed, targeted, and conducted at geographies that have a special quality, are of some special significance, or representative of a range of characteristics and or places. Being "place-based" means that programs are developed by communities for communities' benefits. Although NOS's place-based programs are national in scope and leverage national assets and attention, they are implemented by staff and partners in the places where people live: from Maine to American Samoa. Place-based programs value the experiences of local and indigenous populations and help provide services that combine their traditional knowledge with modern technologies and techniques.
Our place-based conservation approach focuses on important coastal and marine areas. In addition to our Coastal Zone Management Program and Coral Reef Conservation Program, we also manage these programs:
Did you know?
All Americans may nominate nationally significant marine and Great Lakes areas as potential new national marine sanctuaries. This nomination process, established in 2014, will result in an inventory of areas for NOAA to consider for national marine sanctuary designation. Learn More.