The ONMS conducts policy planning to provide a framework for the development of policies at both the national (system-wide) and individual sanctuary level. While
this proactive approach to resource management is best, in reality most policies are developed in response to something that has already become a problem. The
simple scale of some issues may seem prohibitive (e.g., invasive spp), while in other cases the newness of an issue makes response difficult since little
information may be available about its impacts (e.g., alternative energy). Policies are often used not only to address issues by themselves, but they also provide
guidance in the use of other management tools, such as marine zoning, permits, and regulations. Sites should, for complex issues or those with broad national implications, work within the guidelines of national policies that have been or are being developed.
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