A marine park is a park consisting of an area of sea (or lake) sometimes protected for recreational use, but more often set aside to preserve a specific habitat and ensure the ecosystem is sustained for the organisms that exist there. Most marine parks are designated by governments, and organized like 'watery' national parks.
The largest marine park used to be the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in Australia, at 350,000 km² until 2010, when the United Kingdom announced the opening of the Chagos Marine Park or Chagos Archipelago.
Although for many uses it is sufficient to designate the boundaries of the marine park and to inform commercial fishing boats and other maritime enterprises, some parks have gone to additional effort to make their wonders accessible to visitors. These can range from glass-bottomed boats and small submarines, to windowed undersea tubes.
In New Zealand a marine reserve is an area which has a higher degree of legal protection than marine parks for conservation purposes.
In New South Wales, there are planned marine parks which will stretch along the coastline of the entire state.
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