||The United States includes over 600,000 square miles of underwater parks designated as National Marine Sanctuaries (NMS). These areas often serve as a popular destination for natural resource exploration, recreation, tourism, and they offer many other ecosystem services. Understanding visitor use is fundamental for engaging and improving management in protected areas. As part of a larger scale project, named NMS-COUNT, which is developing a methodology to estimate the number of visitors in National Marine Sanctuaries, two questionnaires were distributed to potential visitors of Grays Reef National Marine Sanctuary (GRNMS) and surrounding coastal Georgia. The first survey instrument was focused on visitation and trip characteristics and the second one was focused on economics. Both questionnaires included questions about the participants demographics, trip characteristics, recreation activities and the location of GRNMS as well as departure points, the most visited location of coastal Georgia and departure points for ocean recreation trips. Participants were asked to indicate the locations on separate heat maps. The sample size of this study was 1,650 effective survey contacts, with a response rate of 50.7 %.