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 Resource Type: Report
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
Effects of Radiation from Fukushima Dai-ichi 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. Concerns arose about the potential effects of this released radiation on the U.S. marine environment and resources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86579/
Effects of Radiation from Fukushima Dai-ichi 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. Concerns have arisen about the potential effects of this released radiation on the U.S. marine environment and resources. This report discusses these concerns. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87177/
Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background and Governance
This report provides background information regarding oil spills in U.S. coastal waters and identifies the legal authorities governing oil spill prevention, response, and cleanup. Based on data between 1973 and 2009, the annual number and volume of oil spills have shown declines- in some cases, dramatic declines. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84066/
Offshore Oil and Gas Development: Legal Framework
The development of offshore oil, gas, and other mineral resources in the United States is impacted by a number of interrelated legal regimes, including international, federal, and state laws. International law provides a framework for establishing national ownership or control of offshore areas, and domestic federal law mirrors and supplements these standards. This report discusses these issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40204/
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet, which performs a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions. The Coast Guard's two heavy polar icebreakers-Polar Star and Polar Sea-have exceeded their intended 30-year service lives, and neither is currently in operational condition. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84082/
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/
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/
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/
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/metadc31458/
Piracy: A Legal Definition
Pirate attacks in the waters off the Horn of Africa, including those on U.S.-flagged vessels, have brought continued U.S. and international attention to the long-standing problem of piracy in the region. A recent development in one of the piracy trials in Norfolk, VA, has highlighted a potential limitation in the definition of piracy under the United States Code. This report first examines the historical development of the offense of piracy, as defined by Congress and codified in the United States Code. The focus then turns to how contemporary international agreements define piracy. Finally, the report highlights a recent federal district court ruling that the offense of piracy under 18 U.S.C. § 1651 requires a robbery at sea. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29617/
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/metadc29596/
Oil Spill Legislation in the 111th 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/metadc29615/
Marine Protected Areas: An Overview
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are generally defined as areas reserved by law or other effective means to protect part or all of the enclosed environment. 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. It concludes by considering potential areas of congressional interest for the 111th Congress. Existing federal laws related to the use of MPAs are summarized in the Appendix. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29650/
Offshore Oil and Gas Development: Legal Framework
The development of offshore oil, gas, and other mineral resources in the United States is impacted by a number of interrelated legal regimes, including international, federal, and state laws. International law provides a framework for establishing national ownership or control of offshore areas, and domestic federal law mirrors and supplements these standards. This report discusses these issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29669/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/metadc94139/
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/
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/
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/
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/metacrs10546/
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