Ocean Commissions: Ocean Policy Review and Outlook [April 25, 2008]   [open pdf - 136KB]

"The U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the Pew Oceans Commission made numerous recommendations for changing U.S. ocean policy and management. The 109th Congress reauthorized the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (P.L. 109-479), incorporating provisions recommended by both commissions, and authorized a new program to assess, reduce, and prevent marine debris (P.L. 109-449). Several bills encompassing a broad array of cross-cutting concerns such as ocean exploration; ocean and coastal observing systems; federal organization and administrative structure; and ocean and coastal mapping integration were considered, but not acted on during the 109th Congress. Similar bills have been reintroduced in the 110th Congress. […] In June 2003, the Pew Commission released its final report, 'America's Living Oceans: Charting a Course for Sea Change', outlining a national agenda for protecting and restoring the oceans. The U.S. Commission published its report in two stages. First, in April 2004, the U.S. Commission released a 'Preliminary Report' for review and comment by the nation's governors and interested stakeholders. After reviewers' comments were considered and incorporated, 'An Ocean Blueprint for the 21st Century', the final report with 212 recommendations on a coordinated and comprehensive national ocean policy, was delivered to the President and Congress on September 20, 2004. On December 17, 2004, the President submitted to Congress the 'U.S. Ocean Action Plan', his formal response to the recommendations of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy. The 110th Congress has continued to consider ocean policy and management recommendations of the two commission reports and the President's response. Approaches range from the general, such as extensive changes in organization and administrative structure of ocean research and governance, to more specific topics, such as ocean and coastal mapping."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL33603
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