Guides & Case Studies

Analyzing and interpreting spatial information.

Marine Protected Areas Inventory

Comprehensive database of over 1,700 sites

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), according to Executive Order 13158 (May 200), are defined as "an area of the marine environment that has been reserved by federal, state, territorial, tribal or local laws or regulations to provide lasting protection to part or all of the natural and cultural resources therein". In the U.S., MPAs span a range of habitats including the open ocean, coastal areas, inter-tidal zones, estuaries, and the Great Lakes. They also vary widely in purpose, legal authorities, agencies, management approaches, level of protection, and restrictions on human...