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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress
This report presents policy and oversight issues for Congress arising from maritime territorial disputes involving China in the South China Sea (SCS), East China Sea (ECS), and an additional dispute over whether China has a right under international law to regulate U.S. and other foreign military activities in its maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501611/
Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background, Governance, and Issues for Congress
This report focuses on oil spills in U.S. coastal waters. The first section highlights background issues, including oil spill statistics and potential environmental impacts. The second section discusses the legal framework that governs oil spill prevention and response. The third section examines the threat of future oil spills in coastal waters and whether response personnel are prepared to respond to a major spill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501883/
The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Coastal Wetland and Wildlife Impacts and Response
This report addresses the importance of wetlands in general, the ecology of the coastal wetlands in the Gulf, impacts of oil spills on wetland habitats, response options, the implications of hurricane season for the spill's impacts, and cleanup and recovery issues.3 The emphasis is on the nearshore environment, though a few species found in deeper waters will be mentioned. In addition, some lessons from past spills such as the Exxon Valdez in Alaska will be discussed along with issues that may arise in the years after the leak from the deepwater well is capped. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491294/
Ocean Dumping Act: A Summary of the Law
The Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act has two basic aims: to regulate intentional ocean disposal of materials, and to authorize related research. Permit and enforcement provisions of the law are often referred to as the Ocean Dumping Act. The basic provisions of the act have remained virtually unchanged since 1972, when it was enacted to establish a comprehensive waste management system to regulate disposal or dumping of all materials into marine waters that are within U.S. jurisdiction, although a number of new authorities have been added. This report presents a summary of the law. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491386/
U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea: Living Resources Provisions
This report describes provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOS Convention) relating to living marine resources and discusses how these provisions comport with current U.S. marine policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491318/
The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Coastal Wetland and Wildlife Impacts and Response
The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, and the resulting oil spill began a cascade of effects on the coastal areas of the Gulf and on the wealth of species that inhabit those areas. This report addresses the importance of wetlands in general, the ecology of the coastal wetlands in the Gulf, impacts of oil spills on wetland habitats, response options, the implications of hurricane season for the spill's impacts, and cleanup and recovery issues. The emphasis is on the nearshore environment, although a few species found in deeper waters will be mentioned. In addition, some lessons from past spills such as the Exxon Valdez in Alaska will be discussed, along with issues that may arise as response and recovery transition to restoration of the Gulf. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490915/
Seafood Safety: Background and Issues
Although seafood consumption can contribute to a healthy diet, some fish and shellfish can cause foodborne illnesses or contain environmental contaminants. This report discusses whether current food safety programs are sufficiently protecting consumers, and if not, what changes should be considered. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490976/
Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress
This report presents policy and oversight issues for Congress arising from maritime territorial disputes involving China in the South China Sea (SCS), East China Sea (ECS), and an additional dispute over whether China has a right under international law to regulate U.S. and other foreign military activities in its maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490902/
Gas Hydrates: Resource and Hazard
This report discusses gas hydrates, which are potentially huge resource of natural gas for the United States. The U.S. Geological Survey estimated that there are about 85 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of technically recoverable gas hydrates in northern Alaska. The Minerals Management Service estimated a mean value of 21,000 TCF of in-place gas hydrates in the Gulf of Mexico. By comparison, total U.S. natural gas consumption is about 23 TCF annually. Gas hydrates are both a potential resource and a risk, representing a significant hazard to conventional oil and gas drilling and production operations, and to date gas hydrates have no confirmed commercial production. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491505/
Commercial Fishery Disaster Assistance
This report discusses disaster relief for commercial fishery, which be provided by the federal government to assist the fishing industry when it is affected by a commercial fishery failure. A commercial fishery failure occurs when fishermen endure economic hardships resulting from fish population declines or other disruptions to the fishery. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491599/
Environmental Activities of the U.S. Coast Guard
This report discusses the environmental activities of the U.S. Coast Guard, which fall within the service's program for protection of natural resources, and consist of maritime oil spill prevention, marine debris, and pollution response preparedness. Protection of living marine resources and fisheries also falls in this category, but is not discussed here. Marine environmental protection is one of six "non-homeland security missions" specified in the Homeland Security Act of 2002. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491396/
Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Selected Issues for Congress
This report summarizes provisions of selected legislation - enacted and proposed - that address oil spill policy issues raised after the April 20, 2010, explosion and resulting oil spill at the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico. This report focuses primarily on oil spill policy matters that concern prevention, preparedness, response, and the liability and compensation framework. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491588/
Environmental Exemptions for the Navy's Mid-Frequency Active Sonar Training Program
This report discusses laws related to the protection of marine mammals when using mid-frequency active sonar including the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA). The report discusses each of the laws generally, and then reviews the litigation surrounding the Navy's compliance with these laws in the context of using the sonar for training purposes off California's coast. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462279/
Marine Protected Areas: An Overview
This report identifies a number of issues related to establishing marine protected areas (MPAs) in the United States. It begins by defining the concept and administrative actions taken to provide spatial protection in marine areas. It then considers some of the key issues and potential benefits and costs of designating additional MPAs. It concludes by summarizing current congressional interest in the topic and legislation proposed during the 110th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463440/
Whales and Sonar: Environmental Exemptions for the Navy's Mid-Frequency Active Sonar Training
This report discusses laws related to the protection of marine mammals when using mid-frequency active sonar including the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA). The report discusses each of the laws generally, and then reviews the litigation surrounding the Navy's compliance with these laws in the context of using the sonar for training purposes off California's coast. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462658/
Marine Corps Drawdown, Force Structure Initiatives, and Roles and Missions: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information regarding the Marine Corps that characterizes itself as a crisis response expeditionary force, which is task organized and able to conduct operations across the entire spectrum of military operations. The report discusses the force reduction and shaping programs, force structure initiatives, marine corps roles, missions, and force structure. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463067/
Offshore Oil and Gas Development: Legal Framework
This report explains the nature of U.S. authority over offshore areas pursuant to international and domestic law. It also describes the laws, at both the state and federal levels, governing the development of offshore oil and gas and the litigation that has flowed from development under these legal regimes. Also included is an outline of recent changes to the authorities regulating offshore development, as well as a discussion of recent executive action and legislative proposals concerning offshore oil and natural gas exploration and production. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462041/
Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress
This report presents policy and oversight issues for Congress arising from maritime territorial disputes involving China in the South China Sea (SCS), East China Sea (ECS), and an additional dispute over whether China has a right under international law to regulate U.S. and other foreign military activities in its maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462039/
Ocean Acidification
This report discusses the increasing concern, within the scientific community, that rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could detrimentally alter marine ecosystems. The report discusses how ocean acidification happens, its possible outcomes, as well as natural and human responses that could possibly limit or reduce the rate of the process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462621/
Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress
This report presents policy and oversight issues for Congress arising from maritime territorial disputes involving China in the South China Sea (SCS), East China Sea (ECS), and an additional dispute over whether China has a right under international law to regulate U.S. and other foreign military activities in its maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461952/
Ocean Acidification
This report discusses the increasing concern, within the scientific community, that rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could detrimentally alter marine ecosystems. The report discusses how ocean acidification happens, its possible outcomes, as well as natural and human responses that could possibly limit or reduce the rate of the process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462758/
Maritime Territorial Disputes in East Asia: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the territorial claims in East Asia that underlie the growing tensions, U.S. interests that are at stake, factors that may be driving the growing tensions, and possible options for Congress to consider. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462926/
Offshore Oil and Gas Development: Legal Framework
This report explains the nature of U.S. authority over offshore areas pursuant to international and domestic law. It also describes the laws, at both the state and federal levels, governing the development of offshore oil and gas and the litigation that has flowed from development under these legal regimes. Also included is an outline of recent changes to the authorities regulating offshore development, as well as a discussion of recent executive action and legislative proposals concerning offshore oil and natural gas exploration and production. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462444/
Open Ocean Aquaculture
This report discusses four general areas related to open ocean aquaculture: (1) operational and business-related challenges; (2) potential economic impacts; (3) potential environmental impacts; and (4) the legal and regulatory environment. It summarizes recent executive and legislative branch actions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462814/
Endangered Species Act and Legal Issues Regarding Columbia Basin Salmon and Steelhead
This report discusses the resident fish, such as bull trout and Kootenai River white sturgeon, which are listed as threatened and endangered respectively under the ESA are affected by the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS). This report focuses on Endangered Species Act (ESA) actions and litigation related to these species. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462921/
Coast Guard Deepwater Acquisition Programs: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress
This report discusses issues for Congress in 2008, which include but are not necessarily limited to the Coast Guard's overall management of Deepwater acquisition, the status of certain Deepwater acquisition programs, and the so-called revolving door issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463354/
Ocean Acidification
This report discusses the increasing concern, within the scientific community, that rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could detrimentally alter marine ecosystems. The report discusses how ocean acidification happens, its possible outcomes, as well as natural and human responses that could possibly limit or reduce the rate of the process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463268/
Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background, Governance, and Issues for Congress
This report focuses on oil spills in U.S. coastal waters. The first section highlights background issues, including oil spill statistics and potential environmental impacts. The second section discusses the legal framework that governs oil spill prevention and response. The third section examines the threat of future oil spills in coastal waters and whether response personnel are prepared to respond to a major spill. The final section highlights recent legislative activity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462834/
Gulf Coast Restoration: RESTORE Act and Related Efforts
This report provides information on environmental damage and restoration activities related to the Deepwater Horizon spill. An overview of how the RESTORE Act is being implemented and a discussion of multiple funding sources and plans to recover and restore the Gulf Coast environment are discussed. Further, potential issues for Congress related to this restoration initiative are presented. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463369/
Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress
This report presents policy and oversight issues for Congress arising from maritime territorial disputes involving China in the South China Sea (SCS), East China Sea (ECS), and an additional dispute over whether China has a right under international law to regulate U.S. and other foreign military activities in its maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332871/
Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress
This report presents policy and oversight issues for Congress arising from maritime territorial disputes involving China in the South China Sea (SCS), East China Sea (ECS), and an additional dispute over whether China has a right under international law to regulate U.S. and other foreign military activities in its maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332930/
Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress
This report presents policy and oversight issues for Congress arising from maritime territorial disputes involving China in the South China Sea (SCS), East China Sea (ECS), and an additional dispute over whether China has a right under international law to regulate U.S. and other foreign military activities in its maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332969/
Maritime Territorial Disputes in East Asia: Issues for Congress
This report presents policy and oversight issues for Congress arising from maritime territorial disputes involving East Asia, East China Sea (ECS), and an additional dispute over whether China has a right under international law to regulate U.S. and other foreign military activities in its maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc306520/
Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress
This report presents policy and oversight issues for Congress arising from maritime territorial disputes involving China in the South China Sea (SCS), East China Sea (ECS), and an additional dispute over whether China has a right under international law to regulate U.S. and other foreign military activities in its maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284526/
Ocean Acidification
Report that discusses the increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, and the extent of related effects on the ocean and marine resources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227633/
Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress
Report that presents policy and oversight issues for Congress arising from maritime territorial disputes involving China in the South China Sea (SCS), East China Sea (ECS), and an additional dispute over whether China has a right under international law to regulate U.S. and other foreign military activities in its maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227816/
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
Report that provides background information and issues for Congress on the sustainment and modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet, which performs a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228071/
Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress
This report presents policy and oversight issues for Congress arising from (1) maritime territorial disputes involving China in the South China Sea (SCS) and East China Sea (ECS) and (2) an additional dispute over whether China has a right under international law to regulate U.S. and other foreign military activities in its 200-nautical-mile maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122273/
The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and the Gulf of Mexico Fishing Industry
This report summarizes information related to damages caused by the Deepwater oil spill to Gulf fisheries and efforts to mitigate these damages. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103126/
U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea: Living Resources Provisions
This report describes provisions of the Law of the Sea Convention relating to living marine resources and discusses how these provisions comport with current U.S. marine policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103166/
Effects of Radiation from Fukushima Daiichi on the U.S. Marine Environment
The massive Tohoku earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011, caused extensive damage in northeastern Japan, including damage to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power installation, which resulted in the release of radiation. This report discusses concerns about the potential effects of this released radiation on the U.S. marine environment and resources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99054/
Department of the Interior (DOI) Reorganization of Ocean Energy Programs
This report looks at recent Department of the Interior (DOI) institutional reforms and use of its new regulatory framework. These changes are meant to facilitate ocean energy development that was mandated by the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98024/
Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 110th Congress
This report discusses the federal laws and regulations that guide the management resources in open ocean and near-shore coastal areas. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98088/
Coast Guard Deepwater Acquisition Programs: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress
This report discusses issues for Congress in 2008, which include but are not necessarily limited to the Coast Guard's overall management of Deepwater acquisition, the status of certain Deepwater acquisition programs, and the so-called revolving door issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98083/
Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background, Governance, and Issues for Congress
This report focuses on oil spills in U.S. coastal waters. The first section highlights background issues, including oil spill statistics and potential environmental impacts. The second section discusses the legal framework that governs oil spill prevention and response. The third section examines the threat of future oil spills in coastal waters and whether response personnel are prepared to respond to a major spill. The final section highlights recent legislative activity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98078/
Active Military Sonar and Marine Mammals: Events and References
This report summarizes legal and political events related to active sonar and marine mammals since 1994. The report discusses the deployment of active sonar by the U.S. Navy and its potential impacts on marine mammals has been an ongoing issue of intense debate; regulatory, legislative, and judicial activity; and international concern. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98059/
Environmental Activities of the U.S. Coast Guard
This report discusses the U.S. Coast Guard's (USCG's) environmental activities, which focus on the prevention of oil spills and pollution. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98125/
U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea: Living Resources Provisions
This report describes provisions of the Law of the Sea (LOS) Convention relating to living marine resources and discusses how these provisions comport with current U.S. marine policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98052/
Effects of Radiation from Fukushima Daiichi on the U.S. Marine Environment
The massive Tohoku earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011, caused extensive damage in northeastern Japan, including damage to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power installation, which resulted in the release of radiation. This report discusses concerns which have arisen about the potential effects of this released radiation on the U.S. marine environment and resources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97998/
Open Ocean Aquaculture
This report discusses four general areas: (1) operational and business-related challenges; (2) potential economic impacts; (3) potential environmental impacts; and (4) the legal and regulatory environment. It summarizes recent executive and legislative branch actions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93997/
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