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Short Citation:
Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, 2023: MPA Inventory 2014,

Item Identification

Title: MPA Inventory 2014
Short Name: MPA Inventory 2014
Status: Completed
Publication Date: 2014-10

The MPA Inventory is a comprehensive catalog that provides detailed information for existing marine protected areas in the United States. The inventory provides geospatial boundary information (in polygon format) and classification attributes that seek to define the conservation objectives, protection level, governance and related management criteria for all sites in the database. The comprehensive inventory of federal, state and territorial MPA sites provides governments and stakeholders with access to information to make better decisions about the current and future use of place-based conservation. The information also will be used to inform the development of the national system of marine protected areas as required by Executive Order 13158.


The inventory represents a collection of data compiled from various federal, state, tribal and territorial entities to provide a publicly available source of comprehensive information on place-based marine conservation efforts under U.S. federal, state, territorial, local, and tribal jurisdiction.



Supplemental Information:

This dataset consists of original boundaries as represented by the managing agencies, including any terrestrial components of the protected areas. Only the sub-tidal components of the areas meet the definition of an MPA.

Version Notes:

2014: Added California Coastal Marine National Monument (Pt. Arena-Stornetta Unit) and revised boundaries and zones for Rose Atoll, Marianas Trench and Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monuments. Updated Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary to reflect boundary expansion. Updated boundaries data for Alaska state fishery MPAs, West Hawaii Fishery Management Area, and National Estuarine Research Reserves. Added NMFS Arctic Management Area and Pelagic Sargassum Habitat Restricted Area. Removed Florida Surface Water Improvement and Management sites.

2013: Added new MPA boundaries for California South Coast MLPA region, Oregon Marine Reserves. Updated Maryland Oyster Sanctuaries, National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa boundaries.

2012: This version contains boundary updates during the 2011 calendar year. Boundaries were added for new MPAs created in California. Boundaries were updated for National Park Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, Washington, Virgin Islands and Wisconsin sites in the MPA Inventory.

2011: This version contains boundary updates during the 2010 calendar year. Boundaries were added for new MPAs created in California. Boundaries for Hawaii, American Samoa, Florida and National Marine Fisheries Service MPAs were added for sites already in the MPA Inventory. All National Park Service and National Estuarine Research Reserve and some National Wildlife Refuge boundaries were updated with original data.

2010: This version contains boundaries for all sites from authoritative sources as updated between 6/2009-12/2009. New data have been added for multiple states and territories, including Alaska, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, US Virgin Islands and Wisconsin. Numerous shipwreck sites represented as latitude/longitude coordinate points were converted to polygons using a 300-meter radius buffer. NMFS sites have been verified against US Code of Federal Regulations.


Theme Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
ISO 19115 Topic Category
ISO 19115 Topic Category
ISO 19115 Topic Category
NGDA Portfolio Themes
National Geospatial Data Asset
NGDA Portfolio Themes
NGDA Portfolio Themes
Water Oceans and Coasts Theme
NOS Data Explorer Topic Category Marine Boundaries
None Marine Conservation Areas
None Marine Protected Areas
None Ocean Conservation

Spatial Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
None North America
None United States

Physical Location

Organization: Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
City: Silver Spring
State/Province: MD

Data Set Information

Data Set Scope Code: Data Set
Maintenance Frequency: Annually
Data Presentation Form: vector digital data
Distribution Liability:

The MPA Center shall not be held liable for improper or incorrect use of the data described and/or contained in this database. These data and related graphics are not legal documents and are not intended to be used as such.The information contained in these data is dynamic and may change over time. The data are not better than the original sources from which they were derived. It is the responsibility of the data user to use the data appropriately and within the limitations of geospatial data in general, and these data in particular.

Data Set Credit: NOAA Marine Protected Areas Center in joint effort with the US Department of the Interior

Support Roles

Data Steward

CC ID: 497173
Date Effective From: 2014-10
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): MPA Data Manager
Address: 99 Pacific Street
Monterey, CA 93940
Email Address:
Phone: 831-647-6462
Fax: 831-647-1732


CC ID: 497175
Date Effective From: 2014-10
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): MPA Data Manager
Address: 99 Pacific Street
Monterey, CA 93940
Email Address:
Phone: 831-647-6462
Fax: 831-647-1732

Metadata Contact

CC ID: 497176
Date Effective From: 2014-10
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): MPA Data Manager
Address: 99 Pacific Street
Monterey, CA 93940
Email Address:
Phone: 831-647-6462
Fax: 831-647-1732

Point of Contact

CC ID: 497174
Date Effective From: 2014-10
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): MPA Data Manager
Address: 99 Pacific Street
Monterey, CA 93940
Email Address:
Phone: 831-647-6462
Fax: 831-647-1732


Currentness Reference: Publication Date

Extent Group 1

Extent Group 1 / Geographic Area 1

CC ID: 497179
W° Bound: -180
E° Bound: 180
N° Bound: 70.329403
S° Bound: -15.386142

Extent Group 1 / Time Frame 1

CC ID: 497178
Time Frame Type: Discrete
Start: 2014-10

Spatial Information

Spatial Representation

Representations Used

Vector: Yes

Vector Representation 1

CC ID: 587918
Complex Object Present?: Yes
Complex Object Count: 1623

Access Information

Security Class: Unclassified
Data Access Constraints:

These data are publicly accessible and downloadable via

Data Use Constraints:

These data are in the Public domain. The data are not to be used for navigation. For more information, see the accuracy section.

Distribution Information

Distribution 1

CC ID: 497180
Download URL:

Downloadable Data

File Type (Deprecated): ESRI File geodatabase
Distribution Format: ESRI File Geodatabase
File Size: 73.8
Application Version: 10.2

Distribution 2

CC ID: 497181
Download URL:

Downloadable Data

File Type (Deprecated): ESRI Shapefile
Distribution Format: Shapefile
Application Version: 10.0

Distribution 3

CC ID: 497182
Download URL:

Downloadable Data

File Type (Deprecated): ESRI REST Service
Distribution Format: ESRI REST Service
Application Version: 10.22



CC ID: 497171
URL Type:
Online Resource

Activity Log

Activity Log 1

CC ID: 497196
Activity Date/Time: 2014-12-11

Date that the source FGDC record was last modified.

Activity Log 2

CC ID: 497195
Activity Date/Time: 2017-04-05

Converted from FGDC Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata (version FGDC-STD-001-1998) using '' script. Contact Tyler Christensen (NOS) for details.

Activity Log 3

CC ID: 587916
Activity Date/Time: 2017-09-13

Partial upload of Spatial Info section only.

Activity Log 4

CC ID: 718820
Activity Date/Time: 2018-02-08

Partial upload of Positional Accuracy fields only.

Technical Environment


Microsoft Windows 7 Version 6.1 (Build 7601) Service Pack 1; Esri ArcGIS

Data Quality

Horizontal Positional Accuracy:

Data were collected using methods that have unknown accuracy

Completeness Report:

This version of the MPA Inventory contains geospatial boundaries for 1,623 of the 1,774 identified marine protected areas, and is considered complete as of Oct 2014. New and/or altered sites that are not currently present in the database will be added annually, as data are made available. Please note that site inclusion into the MPA inventory required that the site meet specific definition and conservation criteria that are thoroughly detailed on the http:\\ website.

Conceptual Consistency:

Inventory data were collected from various sources at various spatial scales. The datasets collected were not resampled and are presented in their original form as provided from the contributing agencies, with the exception for a variety of sites that were digitized from coordinates provided by governing agencies.


Process Steps

Process Step 1

CC ID: 497164

GIS data for all sites were collected from authoritative sources. Data were either downloaded from public websites, requested directly from MPA managers or digitized based on legal definitions (eg US Code of Federal Regulations).

Process Date/Time: 2014-10-01 00:00:00

Process Step 2

CC ID: 497165

All sites were reviewed by MPA Center to ensure a match between GIS data and MPA Inventory description.

Process Date/Time: 2014-10-01 00:00:00

Process Step 3

CC ID: 497166

All data were reprojected to WGS 1984, decimal degrees.

Process Date/Time: 2014-10-01 00:00:00

Process Step 4

CC ID: 497167

All new site data were merged into a single shapefile with existing sites.

Process Date/Time: 2014-10-01 00:00:00

Process Step 5

CC ID: 497168

MPA Inventory shapefile was dissolved to one multipart polygon per site.

Process Date/Time: 2014-10-01 00:00:00

Process Step 6

CC ID: 497169

MPA Inventory attribute data were appended to shapefile.

Process Date/Time: 2014-10-01 00:00:00

Child Items

Rubric scores updated every 15m

Rubric Score Type Title
Entity MPA Inventory Attributes

Catalog Details

Catalog Item ID: 40002
GUID: gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:40002
Metadata Record Created By: Tyler Christensen
Metadata Record Created: 2017-04-05 14:27+0000
Metadata Record Last Modified By: SysAdmin InPortAdmin
Metadata Record Last Modified: 2023-10-17 16:12+0000
Metadata Record Published: 2018-02-08
Owner Org: ONMS
Metadata Publication Status: Published Externally
Do Not Publish?: N
Metadata Last Review Date: 2018-02-08
Metadata Review Frequency: 1 Year
Metadata Next Review Date: 2019-02-08