Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Management section includes Management 101, Management Plan, and Intergovernmental Policy Council
Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Management section includes Management 101, Management Plan, and Intergovernmental Policy Council
Welcome to the Olympic Coast National Marine 
Sanctuary web site. Here you'll discover the marine life and extraordinary habitats 
that make up this sanctuary and our continuing efforts to conserve 
these ocean and coastal treasures.
Photo of a hermit crab in open hands.

The National Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA) authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to designate and protect areas of the marine environment with special national significance due to their conservation, recreational, ecological, historical, scientific, cultural, archeological, educational, or esthetic qualities as national marine sanctuaries.

In managing OCNMS, NOAA is guided by the following mission statement:

Mission - To protect the Olympic Coast's natural and cultural resources through responsible stewardship, to conduct and apply research to preserve the area's ecological integrity and maritime heritage, and to promote understanding through public outreach and education.

Day-to-day management of national marine sanctuaries has been delegated by the Secretary of Commerce to NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuariesimage indicates link leaves this site. The primary objective of the NMSA is to protect marine resources, such as coral reefs, sunken historical vessels or unique habitats.

National Marine Sanctuaries map NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries protect and manage some of our countries most dynamic and beautiful marine environments, and storied maritime heritage resources. Americans have been enjoying National Marine Sanctuaries for nearly 40 years. For more background on the management of sanctuaries at the national level, see Management 101.

Day-to-day management of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary is delegated to the Sanctuary Superintendent and sanctuary staff, located in Port Angeles, Washington. Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary was designated in 1994. As part of the designation process NOAA completed a Final Environmental Impact Statement/Management Plan (1993). Starting in 2008, the sanctuary began a three year process to update the original management plan. We have just recently completed this task and have begun implementation. For more information on our revised management plan, as well as the management plan review process see our Management Plan page.

In 2007, in recognition of the role that the Hoh, Makah, Quileute Tribes, the Quinault Indian Nation and the state of Washington play in the management of the Olympic Coast, the Olympic Coast Intergovernmental Policy Council (IPC) was formed. The first of its kind in the nation, the IPC provides a regional forum for resource managers to exchange information, coordinate policies, and develop recommendations for resource management within the sanctuary. For more about the IPC and its importance to sanctuary management, see our IPC page.

In order to manage the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary we must balance the diverse interests of citizens, organizations and partner agencies and make informed decisions that protect resources without unfairly hurting sanctuary users and stakeholders. To better understand those interests and enlist help from those who we serve, the sanctuary staff listens to a Sanctuary Advisory Council. The council meets regularly and is comprised of representatives of Indian tribes, state and local governments, other federal agencies, industry, conservation organizations and citizens. For more information, see our Advisory Council page.

Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary map As part of the original 1994 designation NOAA drafted regulations to protect sanctuary resources. These regulations were reviewed and updated as part of the 2008-2011 management plan review. For our recently updated regulations, go to our Regulations page.

Certain activities that are prohibited by sanctuary regulations can be permitted for specific purposes if conditions are met. For more information on our permits, see our permitting page.


 

Contact for page content: George Galasso


photo of clouds over the ocean
Revised July 26, 2017 by Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary   |    Contact Us   |    Report a broken link  |
Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service    |    leaving site indicates a link leaves the site. Please view our Disclaimer for more information.| User Survey
National Ocean Service | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | National Marine Sanctuaries | NOAA Library | Privacy Policy