Sanctuary Permits

A permit is required from Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary when an individual wishes to conduct an activity within the sanctuary that is otherwise prohibited. Prohibited activities are defined in OCNMS regulations.

A sanctuary permit is likely required if your proposed activity includes any of the following actions:

  • Overflights (lower than 2000 feet within 1 nautical mile of shore, including islands, except for law enforcement or activities necessary to respond to emergencies threatening life, property, or the environment)
  • Seafloor disturbance (e.g., buoy and mooring installation, construction, sediment sampling)
  • Discharging or depositing any material (with excepts defined in regulations)

Permits may be issued for research, educational, salvage and recovery, archeological, or other projects which increase the scientific understanding or natural resource value of the sanctuary and its resources if activities do not substantially injure sanctuary resources and qualities. Special conditions included in sanctuary permits ensure that approved projects are allowed to occur with minimal negative impact to the marine environment.

To apply for a permit:

Go to the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries permits page and submit a completed application to the Permit Coordinator for OCNMS.


For more information contact
OCNMS Permit Coordinator.


Carol Bernthal
Superintendent Superintendent