Coastal Smart Growth Home: Getting Started: Designate Marine or Terrestrial Management Areas


Any area of the marine or terrestrial environment that has been reserved and regulated to provide lasting protection for its natural or cultural resources.

How to Get Started

Marine Protected Areas Center


NOAA's Marine Protected Areas Center provides science, technology, training, and information in the planning, management, and evaluation of the nation's system of marine protected areas. The website includes mapping, inventory tools, and resources on marine management areas.

National Marine Sanctuaries


NOAA's National Marine Sanctuaries website provides information on conservation, protection, and enhancement of marine management areas designated as National Marine Sanctuaries. It also includes the importance of biodiversity, ecological integrity, and cultural legacy within management areas.

National Estuarine Research Reserve System


NOAA's National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) is a partnership between NOAA and the coastal states, to protect coastal and estuarine resources for long-term research, water-quality monitoring, education and coastal stewardship. The NERRS is a network of 28 reserves representing different biogeographic regions of the United States.

Rhode Island Special Area Management Plans (SAMP)


The Rhode Island SAMP website provided by the RI Coastal Resources Management Council, focuses on coastal issues including the Ocean SAMP and the coastal salt ponds. The RI SAMP protects and maintains areas through ecosystem based management approaches to preserve and restore ecosystems.