For the more information about water resources in the National Park Service, please visit http://www.nature.nps.gov/water/.
Ocean and Coastal Resources
The National Park Service is entrusted with managing 85 ocean and Great Lakes parks across 26 states. Established for their beauty and national significance, these parks conserve over 11,000 miles of coast and 2.5 million acres of ocean and Great Lakes waters, including coral reefs, kelp forests, glaciers, estuaries, beaches, wetlands, historic forts and shipwrecks. The ocean and coastal parks comprise a system of tremendous biological and recreational value to the nation. They attract over 86 million visitors each year and generate over $3.5 billion in economic benefits to local communities.
Park managers are confronted with multiple threats to natural and cultural resources from inside and outside of park boundaries. Intense population growth and development, overfishing, climate change, pollution and watershed degradation, shoreline impacts from infrastructure and sea-level rise, invasive species and recreational overuse are taking their toll on park resources. NPS has adopted strategies to increase the agency's organizational and scientific capacity to address ocean and coastal issues in partnership with state and federal agencies and local organizations.
Last Updated: June 21, 2013