(1) protection of life and property
(2) stewardship of ocean and coastal resources
(3) protection of marine environment and prevention of marine pollution
(4) enhancement of maritime commerce
(5) expansion of human knowledge of the marine environment
(6) investments in technologies to promote energy and food security
(7) close cooperation among government agencies
(8) U.S. leadership in ocean and coastal activities.
How? A summary
The law establishes a Commission which, in coordination with the States, a scientific advisory panel, and the public, develops a National Oceans Report. This report makes recommendations to the President and Congress on ocean and coastal issues. The President then responds to these recommendations in a National Ocean Policy that he submits to Congress.
What is the scope of the recommendations?
The Commissions report is required to include the following, as relevant to ocean and coastal activities
The Commission is to give equal consideration to environmental, technical feasibility, economic, and scientific factors. In addition, the recommendations may not be specific to the lands or waters within a single state.
Commission on Ocean Policy
Resources Sources of Information
The Commission is empowered to secure information from any federal agency, enter into contracts and employ experts, and establish a science advisory panel.
Science Advisory Panel
The Commission, in consultation with the Ocean Studies Board, will establish a multi-disciplinary science advisory panel to assist the Commission in preparing its report, ensuring that the scientific information considered is based on the best available data.
The Commission is authorized to hire an Executive Director and other staff.
The Commission is required to hold public meetings. The Commission must hold at least one meeting in each of 6 specified areas around the country. Meetings must be advertised in the Federal Register.
Role of states
The Commission must provide a copy of their draft report to the Governor of each coastal state. The Governors comments will be included in the Commissions final report. The President shall develop his National Ocean Policy in consultation with the states.
Beginning in September 2001, the President submits to Congress a biennial report of all federal programs related to coastal and ocean activities, including:
a description of each program
the current level of funding for the program
linkages to other federal programs
a projection of the funding level for the program for each of the next 5 fiscal years
The Oceans Act authorizes $8.5 million for the Commission to complete its work. To date, $7.5 million has been appropriated to fund the Commission.
The documents below are available as downloadable files in Portable Document Format (pdf). These files can be viewed on microcomputers equipped with recent versions of Adobe Acrobat Reader. Adobe Acrobat Reader can be downloaded for free from the site.
The Oceans Act (pdf, 180kb)
The actual text of the Oceans Act of 2000 as passed by Congress on July 25, 2000, signed into law by the President on August 7, 2000, and subsequently amended.
Senate Report on the Oceans Act of 2000 (pdf, 30kb)
The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation issued its report on the Oceans Act on May 23, 2000. The text includes the Committees report, which describes the purposes of the Act, background and need for the legislation, and related information.
Legislative History of the Oceans Act of 2000 (pdf, 48kb)
The text includes the legislative history of the Oceans Act of 2000. Further information is available from Thomas, the website of the United States Congress, which is a service of the Library of Congress. To assist your search, the bill was passed in the 106th Congress, the bill number was S. 2327, and key words are Oceans Act of 2000 and Commission on Ocean Policy.