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Protecting Resources
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Protecting Resources Home    Permits    Enforcement
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A play flying above a dive boat in the sanctuaryEnforcement at Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary is difficult, at best, 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. Coast Guard. (Image: Coast Guard flying over M/V FLING in the sanctuary, Joyce & Frank Burek)

NOAA Fisheries Office for Law Enforcement officers also help in tracking down evidence and prosecuting offenders, if necessary.

Additional enforcement is accomplished in a more passive fashion, 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.

Help Us Out

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 (OLE) as soon as possible so that they can set the appropriate processes in motion (contact information below).
  • Please also contact sanctuary staff to notify them of any prohibited activities so that they can follow up with NOAA OLE. Email your concerns to

Let Us Know

NOAA Law Enforcement: 1-800-853-1964
You can also report prohibited activities through their website. Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary is located in the Southeast Division.

Two Department of Commerce law enforcement badges

Sanctuary Office: 409-621-5151
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. You can also report the incident by email using the Reporting Form for Suspected Violations of Sanctuary Regulations (208kb pdf). Send the email to

When it comes to enforcement, everyone plays a part!

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