Federal Activities

A U.S. Coast Guard Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) conducts a Homeland Security patrol near the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. (Credit: U.S. Navy)

The United States has more ocean under its control than any other country on earth.

However, unlike some aspects under U.S. governmental control, our vast miles of oceans, inlets and estuaries do not fall under any one authority. Instead, a number of assorted agencies and congressional committees each have their own role in ocean jurisdiction. In order to understand how American marine policy and management works, it is critical to know these different ocean authorities and to comprehend how they interact with each other.

Policy Documents

2013

State of the Climate in 2012

NOAA National Climatic Data Center, August 2013

  • An annual report on the changes and trends in the environment

Economic Benefits of Increasing Electric Grid Resilience to Weather Outages

Executive Office of the President, August 2013

  • An assessment of the vulnerability of the nation’s electric grid system extreme weather

Marine Planning Handbook

National Ocean Council, July 2013

  • A handbook that provides guidance on how regions can address their interests and priorities through marine planning

Charting the Course: Securing the Future of America’s Oceans

Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, June 2013

  • Provides recommendations to the President and Congress to improve the management of ocean resources

The President’s Climate Action Plan

Executive Office of the President, June 2013

  • President Obama’s action plan to slow the effects of climate change

National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan

National Ocean Council, April 2013

  • Provides specific actions Federal agencies will take to address key ocean challenges, give states and communities greater input in Federal decisions, streamline Federal operations, save taxpayer dollars, and promote economic growth

2012

U.S. Ocean Policy Report Card 2012

Joint Ocean Commission Initiative (JOCI), 2012

  • An assessment of the nation’s progress toward implementing the National Ocean Policy

2011

An Evaluation of the Science Needs to Inform Decisions on the Outer Continental Shelf Energy Development in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, Alaska

U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Department of the Interior, June 2011

  • Report on the need for responsible, comprehensive energy exploration and development in Alaska

National Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning Workshop

National Ocean Council, 2011

  • Summary Report, June 21–23, 2011

NOAA Scientific Integrity Procedural Handbook

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2011

  • NOAA’s Administrative Order

2010

Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes

White House, 2010

  • Presidential Executive Order 13547

Final Recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force

The White House Council on Environmental Quality, 2010

  • July 19, 2010

2008

Regional and State Ocean Activities

Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, 2008

  • Summary of Regional and State Ocean Activities

National Ocean Policy Reform

Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, 2008

  • Guiding Principles for Ocean Management

Environmental Literacy

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2008

  • National Environmental Literacy Assessment Project

Educational Partnership Program 2001-2007

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2008

  • Report demonstrating NOAA’s commitment to education through partnerships

Environmental Satellites

Governmental Accountability Office, 2008

  • Testimony before the House Committee on Science and Technology, Energy & Environment Subcommittee on Polar-orbiting Satellite Acquisition and Climate Change

2009

Scientific Integrity

The White House, 2009

  • Memorandum for the heads of executive departments and agencies

Changing Oceans, Changing World

Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, 2009

  • Ocean priorities for the Obama Administration and Congress

NOAA Administrative Order Series

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2009

  • NOAA’s Administrative Order

Education Strategic Plan

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2009

  • Education Strategic Plan 2009-2029

Climate Literacy

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2009

  • The Essential Principles of Climate Sciences

Ocean Exploration

The National Academies, 2009

  • Highlights of National Academies’ Reports on Ocean Exploration

2007 and Before

Toward and Ocean Literate Society

Interagency Working Group

  • Implementation Plan of the Interagency Working Group of Ocean Education, FY 2007-2008

SIMOR Work Plan

Subcommittee on Integrated Management of Ocean Resources, 2006

  • Implementing the Work Priorities of the Subcommittee on Integrated Management of Ocean Resources

An Ocean Blueprint for the 21st Century

US Commission on Ocean Policy, 2004

  • Executive Summary of the Ocean Blueprint for the 21st Century

Executive Order 13366-Committee on Ocean Policy

National Archives and Records Administration, 2004

  • Federal Register, Part V, The President: Committee on Ocean Policy

Ocean Act of 2000

Enacted by the 106th Congress, 2000

  • Establishes a Commission on Ocean Policy

Regional and State Ocean Leadership

Joint Ocean Commission Initiative

  • Overview of regional and state ocean leadership

Law of the Sea Convention

Joint Ocean Commission Initiative

  • Overview of the Law of the Sea Convention