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Federal

Working in close coordination with multiple federal agencies allows our special agents and enforcement officers to maximize their efforts. For example, we work with the U.S. Coast Guard—the nation’s leading maritime law enforcement agency—who enforce or assist in the enforcement of all applicable laws on, under, and over the high seas and waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. In addition, we work with various federal partners, such as the U.S. Attorney’s Office, to determine the appropriate prosecution method for an offense.

These partnerships are mutually supporting as our special agents and enforcement officers routinely assist other federal agencies with marine law enforcement training issues, such as warrants, surveillance, border inspections, information, and other necessary support.

With the increase in U.S. Homeland Security and cross-agency collaboration, our expertise applies to various task forces and security activities, including border operations, checkpoints, dock patrols, and inter-agency meetings.


Coast Guard Cutter Knight Island on patrol.

U.S. Coast Guard

NOAA works closely with the U.S. Coast Guard. The U.S. Coast Guard is our main enforcement partner.

U.S. Department of Justice

NOAA’s Enforcement Program also works closely with the U.S. Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division and with the United States Attorneys Office. NOAA Law Enforcement investigates alleged violations and produces case packages, NOAA General Counsel’s Enforcement Section handles civil cases for possible prosecution, and the U.S. Department of Justice or U.S. Attorneys Offices handle criminal cases for possible prosecution.