State and Local Authority for Marine Protection

Well designed state and local laws can protect marine resources that are essential for the economic and environmental health of coastal areas. To understand these state and local laws, we examined the key legal tools for protecting marine areas in the twenty-three U.S. coastal states. We intend this information to be of use and interest to planners, states, and localities tasked with or interested in developing and implementing MPAs; NGOs and others who support MPA development and implementation; and members of the public or others who want to know more about the existing legal frameworks for coastal and marine protection.

Read our Policy Brief here:

Below, click on individual states for our state-specific assessments, or view the full table of contents after the map.

Table of Contents

Note: We have made every effort to identify key laws in each state, but if you feel that we have missed an important program or statute, please contact us.