Legislation designed to identify, designate, and manage areas of the marine environment that are of special national significance due to their conservation, recreational, ecological, historical, scientific, educational, or aesthetic qualities. Among the provisions of the NMSA: specifications on what activities can and cannot occur within sanctuaries; and authorization of the NOAA to asses civil penalties for sanctuary violations. The NMSA also requires federal agencies whose actions are “likely to destroy, cause the loss of, or injure a sanctuary resource,” to consult with the program before taking the action.