Sanctuary Regulations

The National Marine Sanctuaries Act directs NOAA to set regulations that apply to Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. These regulations are intended to protect recreational, ecological, historical, research, educational and aesthetic resources and qualities of the Sanctuary. History and full text of the entire National Marine Sanctuary Program regulations

Up-to-date Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Regulations are available electronically through the U.S. Government Printing Office.

View a map (with coordinates) of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary boundary:

Under the regulations, the following activities are prohibited within Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. The descriptions below are summaries, please see the official text (link above). For exceptions or for more information, contact

  • Exploring for, developing or producing oil, gas or minerals within the Sanctuary.
  • Discharging or depositing, from within the boundary of the Sanctuary, any material or other matter.
  • Moving, removing or injuring, or attempting to move, remove or injure, a Sanctuary historical resource.
  • Drilling into, dredging or otherwise altering the seabed of the Sanctuary.
  • Taking any marine mammal, sea turtle or seabird in or above the Sanctuary.
  • Disturbing marine mammals or seabirds by flying motorized aircraft at less than 2,000 feet over the waters within one NM of the Flattery Rocks, Quillayute Needles, or Copalis National Wildlife Refuges or within one NM seaward from the coastal boundary of the Sanctuary, except for activities related to tribal timber operations conducted on reservation lands, or to transport persons or supplies to or from reservation lands as authorized by a governing body of an Indian tribe. Failure to maintain a minimum altitude of 2,000 feet above ground level over any such waters is presumed to disturb marine mammals or seabirds.
  • Possessing within the Sanctuary (regardless of where taken, moved or removed from) any historical resource, or any marine mammal, sea turtle, or seabird taken in violation of the MMPA, ESA or MBTA.
  • Interfering with, obstructing, delaying or preventing an investigation, search, seizure or disposition of seized property in connection with enforcement of the Act or any regulation or permit issued under the Act.
  • The Department of Defense is prohibited from conducting bombing activities within the Sanctuary.