The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has created a new center to equip MPA stakeholders with skills for designing and managing marine protected areas. The Institute for Marine Protected Area Training and Technical Assistance will develop and provide a variety of training and assistance to MPA managers, scientists, fishermen, and other interested parties, primarily from the US. It will be located at NOAA’s Coastal Services Center in Charleston, South Carolina.

The institute’s establishment follows former President Clinton’s executive order from May 2000 that ordered NOAA to establish a new Marine Protected Areas Center to provide the science, tools and strategies for building a national system of MPAs (MPA News 1:8). Part of NOAA’s response has been to create two regional MPA centers: the above-mentioned MPA training institute in South Carolina, and the Center for Marine Protected Areas Science in Santa Cruz, California (MPA News 2:5).

NOAA invites inquiries from students and professionals interested in collaborating with the institute’s staff and its partners. More information on the institute and the national MPA Center in general is available on a new website, “Marine Protected Areas of the United States”, co-managed by the US Department of Commerce and Department of the Interior. The website’s address is

For more information:

Roger Griffis, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 14th and Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20230, USA. Tel: +1 202 482 5034; E-mail: