The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries has the authority to issue permits to allow some types of activities that are otherwise prohibited by sanctuary regulations, but which generally present a public benefit by furthering the management and protection of sanctuary resources.
Permits include conditions that are designed to minimize or eliminate impacts to sanctuary resources. NOAA conducts environmental reviews for issuance of any sanctuary permits to ensure compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local environmental and cultural resource laws and regulations. Permit conditions may also be included to minimize user conflicts, including notice to mariners, notice to tribal staff and fishers, as well as other federal and state agencies, as appropriate.
An Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary permit is likely required if proposed activities includes any of the following actions:
- Overflights (lower than 2,000 feet within 1 nautical mile of shore, including islands, except for law enforcement or activities necessary to respond to emergencies threatening life, property, or the environment)
- Seafloor disturbance (e.g., buoy and mooring installation, construction, sediment sampling)
- Discharging or depositing any material (with exceptions defined in regulations)
Permits may be issued for research, educational, salvage and recovery, archeological, or other projects which increase the scientific understanding or natural resource value of the sanctuary and its resources if activities do not substantially injure sanctuary resources and qualities. Special conditions included in sanctuary permits ensure that approved projects are allowed to occur with minimal negative impact to the marine environment.
To apply for a permit:
Go to the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries permits page and submit a completed application to the Permit Coordinator for Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.
For more information contact: