Two sponges on the edge of an underwater reef ledge.
Sanctuary permits are required for any activity that would otherwise violate federal regulations protecting Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Greg McFall/NOAA

A permit is required when an individual or organization wishes to conduct an activity within Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary that is otherwise prohibited. Research and education activities may require a sanctuary permit for various proposed actions and may be subject to additional permit and/or consultation requirements for activities affecting threatened or endangered species, designated critical habitat, marine mammals, and/or managed fish species and essential fish habitat. For more information about these additional permit requirements, please visit NOAA Fisheries' Southeast Regional Office.

Timely submission of permit requests is required, and complete permit applications must generally be submitted, applications must be submitted one month in advance of the desired project start date. Information on how to apply for a permit and answers to frequently asked questions is available on the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries website. However, proposed activities potentially impacting highly protected species or habitats may require several additional months of coordinated review with other agencies before a sanctuary permit decision can be finalized. For more information on permit regulation details, visit our Regulations page.

For questions about permitting at Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary, contact the resource protection coordinator.