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News Release:
Commission on Ocean Policy to Hold First Meeting Sept. 17

A federal oceans commission appointed by President George W. Bush will hold its first meeting on September 17 and 18, 2001, in Washington, DC. The 16-member commission will undertake an 18-month investigation of oceans-related issues and make far-reaching recommendations to the president and Congress for a comprehensive national ocean policy, including the Great Lakes.

The meeting will convene at 10 a.m. on Monday, September 17, 2001, in the Department of Commerce Auditorium at the Herbert C. Hoover Building, 14th St. and Constitution Ave. N.W.

Over the next 18 months, the commission will assess a wide range of challenging issues, including stewardship of fisheries and marine life; responsible use of offshore oil, gas and non-living resources; coastal storms and other natural hazards; ocean and coastal pollution; marine transportation; the role of oceans in climate change; oceanographic science and technologies; and international leadership and cooperation in marine affairs.

Established by federal legislation, the Commission on Ocean Policy is charged with reviewing the effects of federal ocean-related laws and programs. The Oceans Act of 2000 requires the commission to establish findings and make recommendations for reducing duplication, improving efficiency, enhancing cooperation, and modifying the structure of federal agencies involved in the world’s oceans. The Act requires the commission to consider environmental, technical, economic, and scientific factors in the course of its deliberations.

The commission is also charged with assessing the relationship among federal, state, and local governments and the private sector in carrying out ocean and coastal activities. The governors of coastal states will be provided the opportunity to assess the commission’s draft report and their comments will be incorporated into the final report to the president and Congress.

The National Academy of Sciences’ Ocean Studies Board is to help establish a science advisory panel to assist in ensuring the scientific reports presented to the commission are based on the best available scientific information. During the course of its one-and-a-half year study, the Commission is required to hold six regional meetings around the country.

The members of the commission were appointed by President Bush, following procedures established by the Oceans Act. The president appointed 12 commissioners from among a list of 24 people who were nominated by Congress. In addition, the president directly selected four additional commissioners.

The last similar review of the nation’s ocean laws and policies was conducted in the late 1960s under similar legislation. Commonly known as the Stratton Commission, after its chairman Julius Stratton, that commission’s 1969 report led to the creation of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the passage of major legislation governing fisheries and coastal management.

Within 120 days of delivery of the commission’s report, the Act requires the president to submit to Congress proposals and responses to the commission’s recommendations.



Revised July 03, 2002 by Ocean Commission Webmaster
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