Ocean Management Under the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act: Sanctuaries, Dumping and Development

by Ole Varmer,
Amy J. Santin,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '93


This paper examines the terms of the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (MPRSA), 3 its legislative history, and its implementation by NOAA and EPA, and concludes that intrusive human uses which pollute, degrade or otherwise interfere with sanctuary resources such as ocean dumping and mineral, oil, and gas development are prohibited in sanctuaries. The paper then suggests linking these prohibitions with the multiple use principle and concludes that ocean dumping, as well as the development of oil, gas and minerals, are uses which are incompatible with the objective of sanctuaries to protect special areas from pollution and development activities. Therefore, these activities should be prohibited in sanctuaries designated in the future. Identifying which activities are incompatible with the primary sanctuary objective of resource protection is useful in defining both the vague concept of multiple use management and what other activities should and should not be permitted in a sanctuary. A clearer definition of multiple use management could also be used by NOAA in allocating its limited personnel and fiscal resources so these areas are managed to protect and preserve them for use by present and future generations.

Subject Headings: Ocean engineering | Aquatic habitats | Resource management | Coastal management | Personnel management | Federal government | Pollution | Legislation

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