The mission of the National Marine Sanctuary Program is to identify, designate, and manage areas of the marine environment of special national significance due to their conservation, recreational, ecological, historical, research, educational, or aesthetic qualities. The goals of the National Marine Sanctuary Program are to provide enhanced resource protection through conservation and management of the Sanctuaries that complements existing regulatory authorities; to support, promote, and coordinate scientific research on, and monitoring of, the site-specific marine resources of the Sanctuaries; to enhance public awareness, understanding, appreciation, and wise use of the marine environment; and to facilitate, to the extent compatible with the primary objective of resource protection, multiple uses of the National Marine Sanctuaries.
The Act provides authority for comprehensive and coordinated conservation and management of these marine areas. It provides for civil penalties for violations of the Act, or regulations or permits issued under it and for civil suits to recover damages if sanctuary resources are injured or destroyed (Sources: Year of the Ocean Discussion Papers 1998; NOAA Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management).
33 CFR 324: Permits for Ocean Dumping of Dredged Material.