Oceans - Federal Regulatory Structure

Oceans-Federal Regulatory Structure

Sponsors
American Bar Association
Standing Committee on Environmental Law
Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice
Section of Business Law
Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources
Section of Science and Technology Law
Young Lawyers Division

RESOLVED , that the American Bar Association urges the United States Government to improve the system of federal regulation of the United States’ ocean and coastal resources to better protect the integrity of the nation’s marine ecosystems and ensure ecologically sustainable use and development of the nation’s marine resources.

  FURTHER RESOLVED , that the American Bar Association urges Congress and the President to ensure coordination of the national oceans policy and of federal regulatory authority over the United States’ ocean waters and resources by enacting an organic act for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) or some other centralized federal oceans agency that:

  1. Articulates a national oceans policy to protect the integrity of the nation marine ecosystems and ensures ecologically sustainable use and development of the nation’s marine resources;
  2. Grants the coordinating agency sufficient discretion and authority, and imposes sufficient reporting requirements upon that agency regarding the state of the oceans and that agency's progress in improving their state, to enable the agency to address and be accountable for addressing marine issues currently within its jurisdiction and emerging marine ecosystem and resource issues not currently within the jurisdiction of any federal entity; and
  3. Provides for consolidation of additional ocean-related regulatory functions within that agency over time, consistent with its demonstrated capacity to effectively address issues within its jurisdiction.

  FURTHER RESOLVED , that the American Bar Association urges Congress to enact legislation requiring a federal entity – whether NOAA, some other centralized federal oceans agency, or the Committee on Ocean Policy in the Executive Office of the President – to coordinate all federal department and agency planning and ocean-related activities to ensure proper implementation of the national oceans policy.

Adopted by the ABA House of Delegates, August 8, 2005, Chicago, I L .

For a copy of the complete report, contact Carrie Coleman at scel@staff.abanet.org .

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