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Enforcement

fish and the USS Monitor wreck.
Fish and the Monitor wreck. (Photo: Monitor Collection, NOAA)

Enforcement at the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary is difficult given the sanctuary's remote location. The sanctuary does not have the resources to maintain a physical presence on-site, but instead, relies on the watchful eyes of fisherman and dive operators as well as patrolling efforts by the U.S. Coastguard. NOAA Fisheries Office for Law Enforcement officers also help in tracking down evidence and prosecuting offenders, if necessary.

Additional enforcement is accomplished, by educating potential user groups about sanctuary regulations and the resources they are designed to protect. By creating an understanding of the value and beauty of the sanctuary we hope to encourage voluntary compliance with sanctuary regulations.

You are also an integral part of our enforcement efforts:

  • Please share with others what you know about the sanctuary and encourage their compliance with sanctuary regulations.
  • If you see or hear of prohibited activities in the sanctuary, please contact NOAA Fisheries Office for Law Enforcement as soon as possible so that they can set the appropriate processes in motion.
  • Please also contact the sanctuary staff to notify them of the activity so that they can follow up with NOAA Fisheries Office for Law Enforcement.

NOAA Law Enforcement: 1-800-853-1964
You can also report prohibited activities through their website at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ole. Click on the Complaints & Compliments button on the left side of the page to learn more about the complaints process and how to contact the appropriate office. Monitor National Marine Sanctuary is located in the Southeast Division.

Sanctuary Office: 757-599-3122
Report the incident to sanctuary staff or leave a message with as much detail as possible and a phone number where you can be reached for further information.

When it comes to enforcement, everyone plays a part!

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