Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


This paper focuses on the problems associated with marine fish habitat protection and conservation at the federal level in the United States. The intent of the study is to provide a general overview of the issues, impacts, management problems and potential solutions. Federal statutory legislation that impacts marine fish habitat and agency authority derived from those legislative mandates are examined with a view toward promoting integrated management for marine biodiversity and overall ecosystem health. The concepts of coordinated and integrated approaches to management are discussed in the context of the present management regimes. Given the fragmented authority over the policy areas necessary to protect fish habitat, current proposals for enhanced coordination and strengthened consultation authority for NMFS are analyzed. Assuming a long-term goal of integration, current coastal initiatives are analyzed which may serve as models to promote an ecosystem approach to coastal management and achieve more effective fish habitat protection