There are several different kinds of ocean protection status similar to protected land areas. One type is the National Marine Sanctuaries. The office of the National Marine Sanctuaries was established in 1972 and consists of 14 Marine protected areas in the oceans, coast lines and great lakes.
Another type of ocean area protection status are the Marine Protection Areas. http://mpa.gov/
States that have coast line also have different levels of protected areas in addition to the areas protected on a national level.
On an international level the IUCN has its own Marine Program http://www.iucn.org The IUCN Marine Program works with programs like MPA to help maintain marine protection areas on a global scale.
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