The Law on Protection of the Ocean Environment was promulgated in 1982, amended in 1999 and put into effect in April 2000. The amended law applies to the supervision and management of the ocean environment; to the surveying, monitoring, assessing and conducting of scientific research of the ocean environment; to the construction projects for control of ocean pollution; and to the ending pollution through ocean dumping.
The Blue Sea Action Program in the Bohai Sea, off the coast of North China and one of the country's most populous and developed areas, has made several restrictions on discharge of wastes produced by marine oil (gas) fields and ships and ocean dumping.
At present, over 80 natural marine reserves have been established throughout China, state-level reserves accounting for 24 of the total. These protect: marine shoreline, estuary and island bio-environments of great value for research, education and natural history; endangered marine animals (e.g., Chinese white dolphin) and their habitats; and typical oceanic eco-systems such as coral reefs and coastal wetlands.