How The National Marine Sanctuaries Act Diverged From The .

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How the National Marine Sanctuaries ActDiverged from the Wilderness Act Model andLost Its Way in the Land of Multiple UseWilliam J. ChandlerHannah GillelanAbstract—The fundamental flaw of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act is its lack of a singular focus on preservation. This conclusionis all the more obvious when it is compared to the Wilderness Act,enacted just eight years before. The stated objective of the Wilderness Act is to preserve roadless areas of “untrammeled” wilderness.More than 675 wilderness areas in 44 states have been designatedunder the Act’s auspices. The Wilderness Act has proved to be aneffective conservation and management tool because it established:a clear national policy to preserve wilderness; a specific and practical definition of wilderness; a permanent wilderness preservationsystem; clear management guidelines for all wilderness areas, including a general prohibition on commercial enterprises, roads, andstructures; a wilderness review process that included an inventoryof all potential sites and a time limit for the executive branch torecommend suitable wilderness areas to Congress; and, Congressas the exclusive decision-maker on granting and removing wilderness area designations (Scott 2001). In contrast, the SanctuariesAct lacks a central focus on preservation and a rigorous process toachieve it. Congress has never defined what constitutes a sanctuarysystem, vaguely identifies the Act’s purpose as protecting specialareas of national significance, and does not outright prohibit anyextractive uses. Guidelines do not exist as to where or how manysanctuaries must be established by the Secretary of Commerce, noris there a requirement for a comprehensive survey to identify allpotential sanctuaries.Introduction“The oceans are in danger of dying.” (Jacques Cousteau,Time 1970)Coastal and ocean degradation caused by pollution, industrial and commercial development, and waste dumpingbecame salient environmental issues in the 1960s and 1970s.Public awareness of ocean problems was heightened by largeoil spills, “dead seas” resulting from the dumping of dredgespoil and sewage sludge off America’s coasts, and numerous scientific reports detailing the environmental declineof coastal areas. In response, the U.S. Congress approved aWilliam J. Chandler, Vice President, Hannah Gillelan, Ocean PolicyAnalyst, Marine Conservation Biology Institute, Washington, DC, U.S.A.In: Watson, Alan; Sproull, Janet; Dean, Liese, comps. 2007. Science andstewardship to protect and sustain wilderness values: eighth World Wilderness Congress symposium: September 30–October 6, 2005; Anchorage, AK.Proceedings RMRS-P-49. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture,Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.USDA Forest Service Proceedings RMRS-P-49. 2007number of remedial measures to protect coasts and estuaries,including a federal program to assist states in developingcoastal zone management plans, new water pollution andocean dumping policies, and programs to create estuarineand marine sanctuaries.Early proponents of marine sanctuaries, includingPresident Johnson’s 1966 Science Advisory Committee,envisioned a system of protected ocean areas analogousto those established for terrestrial areas, such as nationalparks and wilderness areas (Panel on Oceanography 1966).Like wilderness areas, the marine preserves recommendedby the Advisory Committee were intended to maintain theoceans’ natural characteristics and values and only allowuses compatible with this goal. In his 1971 testimony beforethe Senate Subcommittee on Oceanography, world-renownedoceanographer Jacques Cousteau warned Congress thatthe world faced destruction of the oceans from pollution,overfishing, extermination of species, and other causes. Hecalled for immediate action on several fronts to reverse thesituation.In 1972, the floodgates of environmental legislation opened.Congress passed a number of environmental laws, amongthem the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act(MPRSA) of 1972 (Pub. L. No. 92-532 1972). The MPRSAauthorized a trio of programs to protect and restore oceanecosystems. Of relevance here, it authorized the Secretaryof Commerce to designate national marine sanctuaries forthe “purpose of preserving or restoring [marine] areas fortheir conservation, recreational, ecological, or esthetic values.” Unfortunately, the Sanctuaries Act as enacted did notstrictly follow the model of the U.S. Wilderness Act.For much of its history, the Sanctuaries Act has been awork in progress, largely because of ambiguity of intent.The original Act and its accompanying legislative historywere incongruous in that the law directed the Secretary ofCommerce, acting through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), to establish sanctuariesfor preservation and restoration purposes, but the Houselegislative history, especially the floor debate, allowed forboth preservation and extractive uses in sanctuaries. Thisambiguity produced confusion and led to implementationdifficulties, triggering periodic efforts by NOAA and Congressto clarify the Act’s purposes and provisions.Over time, Congress confirmed multiple use as one of several purposes of the Act and gave the Secretary of Commercethe discretion to determine which uses in each sanctuary areconsistent with that sanctuary and the resource protectionobjectives of the Act. Although key areas of the oceans andGreat Lakes have been protected to some degree in the 13573

Chandler and Gillelansanctuaries established since 1972, the Sanctuary Programhas yet to produce a comprehensive national network ofmarine conservation areas that restores and protects the fullrange of the nation’s marine biodiversity, nor does it have acredible strategy for doing so. Established sanctuaries coverless than 0.5 percent of U.S. waters, and many significantmarine areas and resources are missing from the system.Meanwhile, the ocean degradation of which Cousteauwarned, and which Congress sought to arrest when itpassed the MPRSA and other marine conservation laws, israpidly coming to pass. Although progress has been madeon some fronts, such as bans on ocean dumping of toxicwastes and stronger protection for marine mammals, otherproblems, such as fisheries depletion and dead zones, haveworsened.Early Sanctuary Bills (1967–1970)In 1967, bipartisan members of Congress, includingRepresentatives Hastings Keith (R-Mass.), Phil Burton (DCalif.), and George E. Brown, Jr. (D-Calif.), introduced billsto direct the Secretary of the Interior to study the feasibility of a national system of marine sanctuaries patternedafter the U.S. National Wilderness Preservation System(H.R.11584 and S.2415 1967). At the time, the petroleumindustry was rapidly expanding its operations in offshorewaters. A principal factor prompting this legislation was thedesire to protect scenic coastlines and special marine places,including rich fishing grounds like Georges Bank, from oiland gas development.The House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee helda hearing on the sanctuary study bills in 1968, but they wereopposed by the Department of the Interior (DOI) on groundsthat existing law permitted the DOI to manage the oceanfor multiple uses, including environmental protection, andthat sanctuaries might limit offshore energy development.Nevertheless, several members of the House continued topromote legislation to study sanctuary feasibility in the nexttwo Congresses.Concurrently, a second strategy for protecting ocean placeswas advanced by members of the California delegation whowished to designate areas on the Outer Continental Shelf(OCS) of California in which oil drilling would be prohibited.In 1968, bills were introduced but not passed in the Houseand the Senate to ban drilling in a section of waters nearSanta Barbara. Following a massive oil spill from a rupturedwell in the Santa Barbara Channel in 1969, Senator AlanCranston (D-Calif.) became the most vocal advocate forprohibiting drilling at selected places along the Californiacoast. The DOI opposed these bills as well, claiming thatnew drilling guidelines and procedures implemented afterthe Santa Barbara accident would be sufficient to preventfuture spills. The Senate and House Interior and InsularAffairs Committees, which had authority over the OCSminerals leasing program, were sympathetic to the DOI’sconcerns and declined to act.A third approach to ocean protection was spawned byconcern about the effects of waste dumping in the ocean.Oil-covered beaches, closed shellfish beds, and “dead seas”around ocean dump sites prompted the introduction of bills in1969 and 1970 to comprehensively regulate ocean dumping.A 1970 report of the President’s Council on Environmental574How the National Marine Sanctuaries Act Diverged from the Wilderness Act . . .Quality called for comprehensive regulation of dumping.However, the report made no mention of the need for amarine sanctuary system (CEQ 1970).Despite the Nixon Administration’s opposition to marinesanctuaries, the Democrat-controlled House MerchantMarine and Fisheries Committee was determined to act.The ocean dumping crisis gave the committee the openingit needed. As the 91st Congress drew to a close, momentumfor an ocean dumping law had become unstoppable.Marine Protection, Research, andSanctuaries Act of 1972In June 1971, the House Merchant Marine and FisheriesCommittee unanimously recommended that the entire Housepass the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act(MPRSA), which contained titles on ocean dumping, marineresearch, and sanctuaries. The Act’s sanctuaries title (TitleIII) was an amalgam of concepts from various bills pendingbefore the committee and new ones forged in executive session. The sanctuary’s title did not mirror the Wilderness Act,as had been recommended by President Johnson’s ScienceAdvisory Committee. Furthermore, it lacked any prohibitionson industrial development, including energy development,within designated sanctuaries, which had been a principalgoal of Representative Keith and others.The House bill gave the Secretary of Commerce broaddiscretionary authority to designate marine sanctuariesin coastal, ocean, and Great Lakes waters to preserve andrestore an area’s conservation, recreational, ecological, oresthetic values. The Secretary was to make the first designations within two years and additional ones periodicallythereafter. The Secretary was given broad power to regulateuses and to ensure they were consistent with a sanctuary’spurposes, but no uses were specifically prohibited by theAct. The Sanctuaries Act was authorized for three yearsand granted annual budget authority of up to 10 million.The MPRSA passed the House overwhelmingly in 1971,despite Nixon Administration opposition to the sanctuariestitle. The Senate Commerce Committee did not support marine sanctuaries and deleted the program from its version ofthe legislation. Nevertheless, the House-Senate conferencecommittee on the dumping bill ultimately reinserted theHouse sanctuaries title, with only minor changes. PresidentNixon signed the MPRSA on October 23, 1972, sanctuariestitle and all.The Rise of Multiple Use(1974–1986)During House floor debate on the Act, members of theMerchant Marine and Fisheries Committee emphasizedthat Title III was not purely a preservation statute andthat multiple use of sanctuaries was expected. The committee even considered extractive activities like oil and gasas potentially compatible with the statute’s preservationand restoration purposes in certain situations. Taking thiscue, NOAA’s first regulations to implement the SanctuariesAct permitted multiple uses that were compatible with theprimary purposes of the sanctuaries.USDA Forest Service Proceedings RMRS-P-49. 2007

How the National Marine Sanctuaries Act Diverged from the Wilderness Act . . .Chandler and GillelanBetween 1972 and 1979, little money was spent to developthe program and only two small, non-controversial sanctuaries were designated. Once implementation began in earnestunder the Carter Administration, controversies eruptedover the scope, requirements, and impact of the programas NOAA attempted to designate larger areas. Ultimately,President Carter designated four sanctuaries, but otherproposals remained mired in controversy.Oil and commercial fishing industries were increasinglyantagonistic toward the program because of its potential toinfringe on their activities. The oil industry sought to haveoil development allowed in sanctuaries, and the fishing industry sought to prevent sanctuaries from restricting theiraccess to fishing grounds. From roughly 1977 until 1986,commercial fishing and oil interests and their congressionalallies challenged the Sanctuaries Act’s existence and battledindividual sanctuary proposals. Failing an outright repeal,oil and fishing industries were largely successful in limitingthe Act’s application and watering down its preservationpurpose.By 1984, NOAA and Congress had made a series of regulatory and legislative decisions that emphasized balancingpreservation with other human uses of sanctuaries. Asapplied by NOAA, the balancing doctrine has made it extremely difficult to establish fully-protected sanctuaries oreven fully-protected zones within sanctuaries.for multiple use, preservation zones where all extractive usesare prohibited have only been established in one sanctuary.Sanctuaries also have served as focal points for educatingthe public about marine conservation and encouraging publicinvolvement in banning oil and gas drilling, mining, andother intensive uses in or near special marine places.Generally, it is against the law to “destroy, cause the lossof, or injure any sanctuary resource managed under lawor regulations for that sanctuary” (Sanctuaries Act 2004).However, the prohibition applies only to resources that arespecifically identified in the designation document for eachsanctuary. For example, most sanctuaries do not regulatefishing or prohibit bottom-trawling, despite the fact thatfish populations are depleted in some sanctuaries and thatresearch has documented how bottom trawling has leveledthe seabed and stripped vegetation at some sanctuaries(Center for the Economy and the Environment 2000; Sanctuary Program Regulations 2004). One small sanctuary(42 square nautical miles) within an oil producing area offTexas prohibits oil and gas development in some areas of thesanctuary but not others (Sanctuary Program Regulations2004). The Sanctuaries, unlike Wilderness Areas, are notcomprehensively protected from even the most intensive,potentially destructive uses.Emphasizing Preservation(1988–2000)The Sanctuary Program suffered greatly under the ReaganAdministration, which undercut the program’s funding andstaffing, and considered only one tiny site for designation(Owen 2003). Meanwhile, a series of marine pollution eventshighlighted the continuing need for protection. These eventsincluded algal blooms, mass dolphin deaths, medical wastethat washed up on the Atlantic Coast, and the discharge ofcopper ore and bunker fuel oil from a shipwreck near theChannel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.Congressional frustration over the lack of new designations led to a new phase in which Congress legislativelydesignated four sanctuaries. Congress also passed lawsprotecting a total of four sanctuaries from oil extraction,but failed to amend the Act to protect all sanctuaries fromthis use. Congress attempted repeatedly to strengthen theAct’s preservation mission. However, because Congress didnot also clarify the Act’s purpose and revise the multipleuse provisions, the amendments passed in those years hadonly a modest effect on the program’s preservation mission.Moreover, amendments in 2000 prohibited the designationof new sanctuaries until existing ones are inventoried andfully funded.Assessing the Sanctuaries DWHThe Sanctuaries Act has been used to set aside 13 keyplaces. Although sanctuaries generally have been managedUSDA Forest Service Proceedings RMRS-P-49. 2007Marine ReservesThe Sanctuaries Act was passed to preserve places in thesea from destruction, but the Act’s multiple use provisionshave made it difficult to create inviolate sanctuaries whereno extraction of living or nonliving resources is allowed.Scientific thinking about conserving ocean ecosystems wasin its infancy at the time the Sanctuaries Act was passed,but our knowledge has evolved substantially since the 1970s.Today, scientists call for the establishment of networksof marine reserves—areas exempt from all extractive orharmful activities, including commercial and recreationalfishing—as a necessary tool to conserve marine biodiversity,restore and preserve the integrity of marine ecosystems, andmaintain sustainable fisheries (Ecological Applications 2003).However, the United States has moved slowly in creatingfully-protected marine reserve areas, even within sanctuaries. While Congress directed that one of the sanctuariesbe considered for “not-take” zones, it failed to require thisthroughout the Program (Pub. L. No. 101-605 1990). NOAA’sresponse to Congress, zoning the Florida Keys Sanctuary,drew vociferous opposition from some commercial andrecreational fishing interests, and eventually establishedreserves covering less than 1 percent of the sanctuary.Structural Flaws of the Sanctuaries ActThe paucity of protections resulting from the SanctuariesAct is a result of several structural flaws: The Act’s language makes it difficult to prohibit activities. Management of fisheries in sanctuaries has largely beenceded to NOAA Fisheries, not retained by sanctuarymanagers. The Act’s multiple use provision can be employed bypolitically powerful lobby groups to trump scientificallysound regulations.575

The exhaustive consultation requirements and mandateto facilitate multiple uses “consistent with protection”are not found in national parks and wilderness protection laws.Holes in the SystemMany ocean areas that are most desirable from a conservation standpoint, such as the Caribbean and North Pacific,are missing from the sanctuary system. In addition to geographic holes in coverage, NOAA has not adequately usedthe Sanctuaries Act to address protection of diverse oceanwildlife. In 2000, Congress clarified that one of the Act’spurposes is “to maintain the natural biological communities in the national marine sanctuaries, and to protect, andwhere appropriate, restore and enhance natural habitats,populations, and ecological processes” (Pub. L. 106-513 2000).However, little effective action has been taken. NOAA has nocomprehensive program to assess the status of endangeredspecies found within sanctuaries, address how sanctuaries should be managed to better conserve these species, oridentify where additional sanctuaries are needed to protectother endangered wildlife.The Act has been used to protect many sanctuaries from oildevelopment and pollution, but even this success is threatened by annual attempts by some in Congress to remove theseprotections. Additionally, the Sanctuary Program has neitherprevented overfishing within the borders of the sanctuariesnor consistently protected sanctuary bottom habitats fromdestructive fishing practices such as bottom trawling, andCongress continues to receive pressure to allow fisheries insanctuaries to be managed by the National Marine FisheriesService (NMFS) rather than the Sanctuary Program.Oil Development and Commercial FishingOil development and commercial fishing, two of the biggest threats to sanctuary resources, have been flashpointsthroughout the Act’s history. New oil development is prohibited in the system, at least for the moment. Althoughassertions were made that oil development could be compatible with other sanctuary uses, a number of sanctuariesspecifically prohibited new oil and gas development whenthey were designated by either NOAA (for example, Channel Islands, Gulf of the Farallones) or Congress (for example,Monterey Bay, Cordell Banks). Public sentiment was a keyreason for the limits of oil from the Monterey Bay and Channel Islands sanctuaries. However, oil and gas leases in placebefore a sanctuary’s designation are often allowed to continuewithin the sanctuary (for example, in Channel Islands).In 1998, President Clinton issued an executive memorandum that prohibited new oil and gas leases in any sanctuaryuntil the year 2012. However, the Clinton memorandum canbe rescinded by a succeeding president. Congress can alsointervene to allow oil and gas exploration (distinct from theissuance of new leases), as it did in 2003, when a proposedenergy bill allowed for oil exploration throughout the entireOuter Continental Shelf, including in marine sanctuaries(Wkly. Comp. Pres. Doc. 1998). Though the measure passedthe Senate, it was stopped in the House by coastal state576opposition. As oil prices rise, offshore oil development inmarine sanctuaries will continue to be a threat.Since 1972, commercial fishing has contributed to severepopulation declines of many fish species. Depleted populationsinclude New England cod, snapper and grouper reef fish inthe Southeast Coast and Gulf of Mexico, various species ofrockfish and the nearly extinct white abalone along the PacificCoast, and several species of lobster in Hawaii. Accordingto NOAA, 76 populations in the United States are classifiedas overfished (NMFS 2004). Although sanctuaries are hometo some of these depleted populations, most sanctuaries donot comprehensively prevent or even regulate commercial orrecreational fishing. Eight sanctuaries do not regulate anyfishing within their waters or expressly exempt “traditionalfishing practices,” including bottom trawling. Bottom trawling is allowed in seven of the 13 sanctuaries even thoughthis method of fishing causes extensive damage to seafloorecosystems that provide vital breeding, nursing, and feedinggrounds to fish.The Sanctuaries Act requires the Secretary of Commerceto give the appropriate regional fishery management councilthe opportunity to draft fishing regulations for each proposedsanctuary, but the councils must meet certain standards. If acouncil chooses to draft regulations, it must use as guidancethe national standards of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, thelaw under which federal fisheries are managed primarily forexploitation, “to the extent that the standards are consistentand compatible with the goals and objectives of the proposeddesignation.” A council’s draft regulations must also “fulfillthe purposes and polices [of the Sanctuaries Act] and the goalsand objectives of the proposed designation,” or the Secretarymust reject the draft and prepare the regulations himself(Sanctuaries Act 2004). Any amendments to the fishingregulations must follow the same standards and process ofdevelopment. Therefore, while the draft fishing regulationsare guided by some provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act,they must be entirely compatible with and assist fulfillmentof the National Marine Sanctuaries Act.Although the Sanctuaries Act gives the Secretary thepower to object to a council recommendation that wouldharm sanctuary resources, the Secretary has been reluctantto change the regional council’s draft fishing regulations forsanctuaries. The reluctance comes in part because of NOAA’sconflicting responsibilities to protect sanctuary resourceswhile promoting the economic viability of fisheries. In practice, staff often resolve conflicts between the National OceanService, which manages the Sanctuary Program, and NOAAFisheries before these disputes ever reach the Secretary ofCommerce.Congress also has failed to address the negative effects offishing on sanctuaries. For example, the legislative designations of Monterey Bay and Stellwagen Bank were silenton commercial fisheries regulation, leaving it to NOAA todecide whether to cover commercial fishing as a regulatedor prohibited activity (Pub. L. 102-587 1992). NOAA chosenot to regulate fishing in either sanctuary because there wasinsufficient support for regulation. As a result, the sanctuaries have not helped stop the declines of certain residentfish populations nor have they halted the disturbance anddestruction of seafloor habitat within their boundaries.USDA Forest Service Proceedings RMRS-P-49. 2007

How the National Marine Sanctuaries Act Diverged from the Wilderness Act . . .Chandler and GillelanActions in the past year suggest that NOAA’s pattern ofdeference to the councils regarding management of fishingin sanctuaries may be changing. NOAA’s draft goals andobjectives for the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, the onesanctuary currently under consideration for addition to thesanctuary system, would prohibit certain fisheries andregulate others, in order to effectively protect sanctuaryresources. Furthermore, Monterey Bay National MarineSanctuary may expand its borders to include Davidson Seamount to protect the seamount from fishing. Finally, CordellBank National Marine Sanctuary is considering clarifyingthat submerged lands are included in the sanctuary’s jurisdiction, and has proposed prohibiting bottom trawling in theentire sanctuary.Each of these proposals has garnered opposition by thecouncils, which argue that the Magnuson-Stevens Act and theSanctuaries Act are incompatible, and that the MagnusonStevens Act should be the controlling authority. Not onlyis the councils’ interpretation refuted by the plain meaningof the Sanctuaries Act, its acceptance would prevent thecomprehensive management of sanctuary ecosystems.Moratorium on New SanctuariesPreservation and Multiple UseWhile it is true that “preservation” or “protection” (theprecise word used in the Act has changed over time) hasalways been a purpose of the Sanctuaries Act, it is notthe Act’s singular purpose. More than anything, it is theprovisions related to multiple use that have prevented thedevelopment of a marine sanctuary system that lives up toits name.Even though the Act now states that “resource protection” is the primary objective, by requiring that sanctuariesfacilitate all public and private uses “compatible” with thisobjective, the Act allows users to. . . challenge the Secretary’s decision to prohibit certainactivities, and creates the expectation among resource usersthat their use will be facilitated. The Secretary must thendefend his or her regulatory decisions by demonstrating thatsuch activities are not “compatible” with resource protection . . The Secretary must, in effect, answer the question: “Doesthis activity harm the resource enough in comparison to thebenefits people get from that activity to justify regulating it?”(Turnstone Group 2003, p. 6)If protection or preservation is the primary purpose ofsanctuaries, at what point do multiple uses compromiseresource protection? If most of the ocean is generally open toall uses, then the most direct and effective way to preserveocean places is to set some of them aside for the singularpurpose of preservation just as national parks and wildernessareas have been created on land. Only truly compatible usesof sanctuaries, such as education, science, and low-impactrecreation would be allowed. An effective, comprehensiveocean zoning policy, if it existed, would divide the oceaninto a number of different use zones, including preservationzones. This was the strategy envisioned in 1966 by PresidentJohnson’s Science Advisory Committee, which called for amarine wilderness preservation system, not the creation ofmultiple-use sanctuaries.USDA Forest Service Proceedings RMRS-P-49. 2007Efforts to designate additional sanctuaries came to a halt inthe mid-1990s. Until that time, NOAA’s designation processwas driven by a list of sites that had passed a preliminaryevaluation of appropriateness for sanctuary designation.NOAA inactivated the list because it was out of date andneeded to be revised (Sanctuary Program Regulations 1995).Before NOAA could revise the list, Congress enacted amoratorium on new designations in the 2000 Amendmentsto the Sanctuaries Act.Lifting the moratorium is contingent upon publication ofa study by the Secretary of Commerce concluding that the“addition of a new sanctuary will not have a negative impacton the system,” sufficient funding in the annual CommerceDepartment budget for an inventory of the new sanctuary’sresources, and sufficient funding in the Commerce Departmentbudget for complete site characterization studies of all currentsanctuaries within ten years (Pub. L. 106-513 2000).The moratorium is a signal that additions to the sanctuarysystem are not a high priority for Congress, regardless of thescientific community’s urgent call for greater protection ofsensitive marine areas. The moratorium has had one positive consequence—forcing NOAA to develop a managementprogram for congressional review—but it throws a pall ofuncertainty over the program. It is hard to imagine a similar no-growth injunction being placed on the national park,wilderness area, or wildlife refuge systems, all of whichcontinue to expand.ConclusionsWithout a singular preservation focus, the Sanctuaries Acthas proved to be an unreliable vehicle for comprehensivelypreserving the full array of the nation’s marine resourcesand special places. The Act’s inadequacies have been obviousthroughout its history. Incongruous and conflicting mandates,lack of strategic implementation guidelines, and the failureto prohibit incompatible uses and define uniform protectionstandards, have proved baffling to NOAA and been a sourceof continuing debate by the Act’s authorizing committees.Furthermore, frequent reinvention efforts by Congress andNOAA have failed to fix the Act’s fundamental problems.The Act continues to lack a cohesive set of purposes andcompatible uses that apply to every sanctuary in the system.Until this consistency is created, lengthy fights between usergroups and conservationists are all but guaranteed eachtime a new sanctuary is designa

pass the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA), which contained titles on ocean dumping, marine research, and sanctuaries. The Act’s sanctuaries title (Title III) was an amalgam of concepts from various bills pending before the committee and new ones forged in executive ses-sion.

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