On September 3, 2019, NOAA designated Mallows Bay-Potomac River as the first national marine sanctuary in nearly 20 years. The sanctuary will be jointly managed by the state of Maryland and Charles County, Maryland, for the purposes of protecting the Ghost Fleet and related cultural heritage as well as to facilitate recreational access and economic opportunity.

An osprey tends to its nest on a ship

Designation & Management Plan

The sanctuary management plan identifies programs and partnerships needed to achieve sanctuary objectives, including science, education, resource protection, recreation, public engagement, and infrastructure.

A group of people pose for a photo in front of Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary

Photo: Matt McIntosh/NOAA


Partnerships are fundamental to the success of all national marine sanctuaries. Significant community partnerships are already underway at Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary.

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