National Park Service - Special Designations

Special Designations

Wilderness areas are covered by the US National Wilderness Preservation System, which protects federally managed lands that are of a pristine condition. Established by the Wilderness Act (Public Law 88-577) in 1964. The National Wilderness Preservation System originally created hundreds of wilderness zones within already protected federally administered property, consisting of over 9 million acres (36,000 kmĀ²).

Marine Protected Areas - Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the United States began with Executive Order 13158 in May 2000 when official MPAs were established for the first time. The initial listing of U.S. areas was presented in 2010, consisting of areas already set aside under other legislation. The National Park Service has 19 park units designated as MPAs.

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