Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary is one of the largest near-shore live-bottom reefs of the southeastern United States. It's just one of the 14 national marine protected areas that make up the National Marine Sanctuary System and is governed by the National Marine Sanctuaries Act. It is managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Gray's Reef was designated as a sanctuary on January 16, 1981, and is the only protected natural reef area on the continental shelf off the Georgia coast. The 22 square miles of Gray's Reef protects an area that is recognized nationally and internationally.