Some people interpret marine protected areas to mean areas closed to all human activities. Others interpret them as special areas established for conservation, but allowing specific recreation and commercial uses, much like national parks.
The Marine Protected Areas of the United States Web site will provide information as required by Executive Order 13158, Marine Protected Areas. Includes definitions, case studies, resources, as well as streaming videos.
The mission of the National Marine Protected Areas Center is to facilitate the effective use of science, technology, training, and information in the planning, management and evaluation of the nation's system of marine protected areas.
The Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) of 1999 directs the state to redesign California's system of marine protected areas (MPAs) to function as a network in order to: increase coherence and effectiveness in protecting the state's marine life and habitats, marine ecosystems, and marine natural heritage, as well as to improve recreational, educational and study opportunities provided by marine ecosystems subject to minimal human disturbance.