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The National Marine Sanctuaries Program (NMSP)

It was only after the devastating Santa Barbara Oil Spill of 1969, that the general public exerted enough pressure on Congress to enact a series of environmental laws aimed at preventing toxic oceanic dumping and protecting marine animals. One of the results is the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972. Title III of the Act gave the Secretary of Commerce the authorization to designate and manage areas of the marine environment with nationally significant aesthetic, ecological, historical, or recreational value as national marine sanctuaries. This led to the implementation of the National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP), which is administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Services Center (CSC) and is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Commerce (DOC).

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