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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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/
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/
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/
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/
Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background, Governance, and Issues for Congress
This report reviews the history and trends of oil spills in the United States; identifies the legal authorities governing oil spill prevention, response, and cleanup; and examines the threats of future oil spills in U.S. coastal waters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689488/
Ocean Acidification
With increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, the extent of effects on the ocean and marine resources is an increasing concern. One aspect of this issue is the ongoing process whereby seawater becomes acidified (i.e., ocean acidification) as more CO2 dissolves in it, causing hydrogen ion concentration in seawater to increase. While not yet fully understood, the ecological and economic consequences of ocean acidification could be substantial. Congress is beginning to focus attention on better understanding ocean acidification and determining how this concern might be addressed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26133/
U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea: Living Resources Provisions
This report describes provisions of the LOS Convention relating to living marine resources and discusses how these provisions comport with current U.S. marine policy. As presently understood and interpreted, these provisions generally appear to reflect current U.S. policy with respect to living marine resource management, conservation, and exploitation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87275/
U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea: Living Resources Provisions
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOS Convention) was agreed to in 1982, but the United States never became a signatory nation. In the 111th Congress, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs on January 13, 2009, acknowledged that U.S. accession to the LOS Convention would be an Obama Administration priority. This report describes provisions of the 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/metadc26214/
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/
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/metadc700590/
Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background, Governance, and Issues for Congress
This report reviews the history and trends of oil spills in the United States; identifies the legal authorities governing oil spill prevention, response, and cleanup; and examines the threats of future oil spills in U.S. coastal waters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26249/
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/
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/metadc87337/
Whales and Sonar: Environmental Exemptions for the Navy's Mid-Frequency Active Sonar Training
This report discusses litigation regarding the use of mid-frequency active sonar training exercises and its effects on marine mammals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700612/
Marine Protected Areas: An Overview
This report identifies a number of issues related to establishing 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87274/
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, and describes the laws -- at both the state and federal levels -- governing the development of offshore oil and gas and related litigation. Additionally, it provides an outline of the changes to the regulating authorities by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, subsequent legislation and executive action, and a discussion of recent executive action and legislative proposals that would allow for further offshore exploration and production. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743533/
U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea: Living Resources Provisions
This report describes provisions of the 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/metadc795561/
Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 110th Congress
Aquaculture — the farming of fish, shellfish, and other aquatic animals and plants in a controlled environment — is expanding rapidly abroad, with more modest advances in the United States. This report discusses the federal laws and regulations that guide the management of resources in open ocean and near-shore coastal areas. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc811774/
Gas Hydrates: Resource and Hazard
Solid gas hydrates are a 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. Gas hydrates are both a potential resource and a risk, representing a significant hazard to conventional oil and gas drilling and production operations. This report addresses the issue of cost and method of recovering potential gas hydrates, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of using gas hydrates as a potential energy source. Included is information on the Methane Hydrate Research and Development Act of 2000 and the Energy Policy Act of 2005. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10827/
Ocean Dumping Act: A Summary of the Law
The Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (MPRSA, P.L. 92-532) has two basic aims: to regulate intentional ocean disposal of materials, and to authorize related research. This report presents a summary of the law, describing the essence of the statute. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc812319/
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/
Environmental Activities of the U.S. Coast Guard
The U.S. Coast Guard's (USCG's) environmental activities focus on prevention programs, accompanied by enforcement and educational activities. An important component is maritime oil spill prevention, which includes inspection of U.S. and foreign-flagged ships to ensure compliance with U.S. laws and international agreements, as well as reduce the impact of oil and hazardous substances spills. Another prevention effort, minimizing marine debris, addresses commercial items as well as trash from recreational fishing and boating. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10638/
Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 110th Congress
Aquaculture — the farming of fish, shellfish, and other aquatic animals and plants in a controlled environment — is expanding rapidly abroad, with more modest advances in the United States. This report discusses the federal laws and regulations that guide the management of resources in open ocean and near-shore coastal areas. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc817780/
Issues Affecting Tidal, Wave, and In-Stream Generation Projects
This report provides an overview of developments and considerations regarding wave, tidal, and in-stream energy generation technology. It summarizes federal involvement in the regulation of this new industry and highlights current issues in the field. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94100/
Wave, Tidal, and In-Stream Energy Projects: Which Federal Agency Has the Lead?
Developments in wave, tidal, and in-stream energy generation technologies -- also referred to as hydrokinetic or marine energy -- are beginning to gain momentum. At the same time, their regulatory status is still evolving, as shown by recent changes in law aimed at clarifying hte federal role in ocean wave and renewable energy. Two federal agencies currently appear to have a lead role in offshore renewable energy projects -- the Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service (MMS) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10715/
Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 110th Congress
This report discusses fish and marine mammals which are important resources in open ocean and near shore coastal areas. It also discusses many federal laws and regulations that guide their management. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94087/
Royalty Relief for U.S. Deepwater Oil and Gas Leases
The most common incentives for offshore oil and gas development include various forms of royalty relief. The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to grant royalty relief to promote increased oil and gas production. The Deep Water Royalty Relief Act of 1995 (DWRRA) expanded the Secretary's royalty relief authority in the Gulf of Mexico outer continental shelf (OCS). This report outlines the ongoing controversy over royalty relief, related legislation, and related court rulings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10686/
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/
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/
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, describing the essence of the statute. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc810643/
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 FCRPS. This report focuses on Endangered Species Act (ESA) actions and litigation related to these species. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94142/
Outer Continental Shelf: Debate Over Oil and Gas Leasing and Revenue Sharing
Oil and gas leasing in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) has been an important issue in the debate over energy security and domestic energy resources. The Department of the Interior (DOI) released a comprehensive inventory of OCS resources in February 2006 that estimated reserves of 8.5 billion barrels of oil and 29.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Congress has imposed moratoria of the OCS since 1982 through the annual Interior appropriation bills. Proponents of the moratoria contend that offshore drilling would pose unacceptable environmental risks and threaten coastal tourism industries. This report analyzes this issue in-depth, including budgetary information and relevant legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10548/
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/
Issues Affecting Tidal, Wave, and In-Stream Generation Projects
This report provides an overview of developments and considerations regarding wave, tidal, and in-stream energy generation technology. It summarizes federal involvement in the regulation of this new industry and highlights current issues in the field. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847620/
Wave, Tidal, and In-Stream Energy Projects: Which Federal Agency Has the Lead?
This report describes wave, tidal, and in-stream energy generation technologies -- also referred to as hydrokinetic or marine energy. It discusses the recent changes in law aimed to clarify the federal role in ocean wave and renewable energy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847600/
Cruise Ship Pollution: Background, Laws and Regulations, and Key Issues
This report describes the several types of waste streams that cruise ships may discharge and emit. It identifies the complex body of international and domestic laws that address pollution from cruise ships. It then describes federal and state legislative activity concerning cruise ships in Alaskan waters and activities in a few other states, as well as current industry initiatives to manage cruise ship pollution. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93985/
Coastal Zone Management: Background and Reauthorization Issues
This report provides an overview of the coastal population and costal environmental threats. The report discusses the implementation and reauthorization Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) that was first enacted in 1972. Congress has reauthorized or amended this act eight times since 1972, responding to changing issues combined with a continuing interest in assisting states to manage their coastal resources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94133/
Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 110th Congress
Aquaculture — the farming of fish, shellfish, and other aquatic animals and plants in a controlled environment — is expanding rapidly abroad, with more modest advances in the United States. This report discusses the federal laws and regulations that guide the management of resources in open ocean and near-shore coastal areas. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc805885/
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/
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/
U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea: Living Resources Provisions
This report describes provisions of the 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/metadc822484/
Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 110th Congress
This report discusses the federal laws and regulations that guide the management of 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/
Environmental Activities of the U.S. Coast Guard
The U.S. Coast Guard's (USCG's) environmental activities focus on prevention programs, accompanied by enforcement and educational activities. An important component is maritime oil spill prevention, which includes inspection of U.S. and foreign-flagged ships to ensure compliance with U.S. laws and international agreements, as well as reduce the impact of oil and hazardous substances spills. Another prevention effort, minimizing marine debris, addresses commercial items as well as trash from recreational fishing and boating. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10637/
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/
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/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94118/
Wave, Tidal, and In-Stream Energy Projects: Which Federal Agency Has the Lead?
This report describes wave, tidal, and in-stream energy generation technologies — also referred to as hydrokinetic or marine energy. It discusses the recent changes in law aimed to clarify the federal role in ocean wave and renewable energy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94227/
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs): Federal Legal Authority
This report outlines U.S. jurisdiction over ocean resources and analyzes the existing laws to assess their application to marine environments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847534/