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We partner with numerous state, territorial, and commonwealth marine conservation law enforcement agencies to help protect and conserve marine resources for future generations. Through these partnerships, enabled by the Cooperative Enforcement Program, we supplement enforcement efforts with thousands of specially trained and authorized state, territorial, and commonwealth marine conservation law enforcement officers.

Since the inception of the Cooperative Enforcement Program, these partner agencies have provided critical law enforcement activity on behalf of NOAA Law Enforcement. In return, we have provided substantial funding, training, and support to partners to ensure the continued enforcement of federal and state marine conservation laws.

With the passage of the Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization Act in 2007, 45 states, territories, commonwealths, and U.S. possessions became eligible to participate in the program. We currently have joint enforcement agreements (JEAs) with 28 states, territories, and commonwealths. The primary goal of these agreements is to enhance enforcement of federal laws and regulations while improving the ability of the partner agencies to perform their routine marine conservation obligations.

NOAA enforcement officers Scott Adams and Ryan Piorkowski work with Maine Marine Patrol officers to inspect trucks at the Kittery, Maine, weigh station. NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement operates joint enforcement agreements with 27 coastal states and territories