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Public Meeting, April 2-3, 2003 Washington, D.C.


Public Meeting, April 2-3, 2003 Washington, D.C.
Fifteenth Meeting of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy
Cafritz Conference Center
George Washington University
800 21st Street, NW
Washington, D.C.

Commissioners in Attendance:

Admiral James D. Watkins, USN (Ret.), Chairman
Mrs. Lillian C. Borrone
Dr. James M. Coleman, Ph.D.
VADM Paul G. Gaffney, II, USN
Prof. Marc J. Hershman
Mr. Paul L. Kelly
Dr. Frank E. Muller-Karger, Ph.D.
Mr. Edward B. Rasmuson
Dr. Andrew A. Rosenberg, Ph.D.
Mr. William D. Ruckelshaus
Dr. Paul A. Sandifer, Ph.D.

Meeting Attendees
A list of meeting attendees, including their affiliation where provided, is included in Appendix 1.


The U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy held its fifteenth public meeting on April 2-3, 2003, in Washington, D.C., to discuss a multitude of issues associated with developing a new national ocean policy. This was the third public meeting which focused on the deliberation of policy options by the Commissioners.

Mirroring the previous public deliberations held by the Commission in November 2002 and January 2003, the draft Policy Options document for April 2-3, 2003 (pdf, 385kb) provided the framework for the policy discussions. The draft Options document was distributed to the public at the meeting.

In his opening remarks, the Chairman reiterated that the Commission would not release its report on June 20. He added that the scope of the Commission mandate is so broad that more time is needed to adequately address the issues. He announced that the Commission set late summer as the target date for release of the document. The Chairman added that a notice of availability will be published in the Federal Register a month or so before the report goes to the President's desk, and that the document will be made available on the Commission website. At that time, the report also will go to the governors of all 50 states and the territories for comment.

The next topic was the Draft Policy Options that would be discussed over the next two days. In his remarks, the Chairman emphasized that the information on the Draft Policy Options should be considered pre-decisional and that language on the slides would be the subject of discussion in open public session. He also stressed that the text on the slides may be modified based on the discussions that were about to take place. (Note: The full transcript of the meeting is available below.)
Chairman Watkins then requested that the Governance Working Group Chairman, Bill Ruckelshaus, give a brief overview of the governance topics scheduled for discussion at the public meeting on April 3. The topics mentioned by Mr. Ruckelshaus were the National Ocean Policy Framework; Regional Ocean and Coastal Governance; Federal Agency Reorganization; Offshore Oil and Gas, Existing and Emergency Uses; and Coastal Management.
The Commission then proceeded with the April 2 meeting, which included presentation of issues by the Research, Education and Marine Operations (REMO) Working Group and the Stewardship Working Group. The REMO presentation was made by Dr. Jim Coleman, and the Stewardship issues were presented by Dr. Paul Sandifer. Discussion by the full Commission followed the presentation of each set of policy options.

At the end of the meeting, the Commissioners approved the minutes from the January 2003 meeting in Washington, D.C. The Commissioners also approved the use of the transcript from the April meeting as the official minutes for that meeting. The Chairman noted that the transcript would be posted to the Commission website following the meeting.

The topical areas covered on April 2 were:

  • Academic Research Funding in Ocean Sciences
  • Exploration
  • International Leadership in Ocean Sciences
  • Technology Development
  • Existing and Required Ocean Science Infrastructure
  • National Ocean Research Leadership Council
  • Aquaculture
  • International Management of Living Marine Resources
  • Living Marine Resources Enforcement
  • Vessel Monitoring System
  • General Vessel Pollution Issues
  • Cruise Ship Pollution
  • Invasive Species
  • Marine Debris
  • National Ocean Council and Nonpoint Source Pollution
  • National Ocean Council and 2002 Farm Bill Implementation


The April 3, 2003, meeting focused on the presentation of draft policy options by the Governance Working group, led by Mr. Bill Ruckelshaus, and the Stewardship Working Group, led by Dr. Paul Sandifer. A public comment period also was held and the meeting adjourned on time.

The topical areas covered on April 3 were:

  • Governance Issues
  • Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations
  • Sewage Treatment Plants
  • Stormwater
  • Clean Water Act Section 404 Program
  • Port and Sediment Management
  • Atmospheric Deposition of Pollutants
  • Incentives, Disincentives, and “Backstop Mechanisms” for Nonpoint Source and Watershed Pollution


April 2, 2003

April 3, 2003



Revised May 27, 2003 by Ocean Commission Webmaster
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