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NOAA Fisheries
Office of Protected Resources
Acropora palmata thicket on Mona Island, Puerto Rico. Andy Bruckner, 1996Coho salmon painting, Canadian Dept of Fisheries and OceansMonk seal, C.E. BowlbyHumpback whale, Dr. Lou Herman
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Laws & Policies
Endangered Species Act
Text of the ESA
ESA Policies, Guidances, and Regulations
Marine Mammal Protection Act
Text of the MMPA
MMPA Policies, Guidances, and Regulations
More Laws
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OPR Site Map

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Laws & Policies

The Office of Protected Resources follows several mandates for the protection of endangered and threatened marine life, marine mammals, and the ecosystems upon which they depend.

  ESA Fact Sheet cover
ESA Fact Sheet

MMPA Fact Sheet cover
MMPA Fact Sheet

Endangered Species Act (ESA)
The Endangered Species Act was established in 1973 to conserve the Nation's natural heritage for the enjoyment and benefit of current and future generations by conserving species that are in danger of extinction. Click here to see species listed under the ESA or here for an ESA fact sheet [pdf].

Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA)
The Marine Mammal Protection Act was established in 1972 to protect marine mammals by prohibiting take of marine mammals in U.S. waters and by U.S. citizens on the high seas, and the importation of marine mammals and marine mammal products into the U.S. Click here to see species protected under the MMPA or here for a MMPA fact sheet [pdf].

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
The National Environmental Policy Act was enacted in 1969. NEPA requires Federal agencies to integrate environmental values into their decision-making processes by considering the environmental impacts of their major proposed actions.

More Laws
Additional treaties, laws, and policies under which the Office of Protected Resources operates.

More Information
Glossary of Terms
GPO Access - Federal Register and other government publications
Office of Law Enforcement
Other Environmental Laws
Policy and Procedures for NOAA Fisheries
Recent Regulations to Protect Marine Turtles - Review and comment on pending Federal regulations

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