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 Resource Type: Report
 Decade: 2000-2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background, Governance, and Issues for Congress

Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background, Governance, and Issues for Congress

Date: August 27, 2009
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Ocean Acidification

Ocean Acidification

Date: July 2, 2009
Creator: Buck, Eugene H. & Folger, Peter
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea: Living Resources Provisions

U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea: Living Resources Provisions

Date: June 22, 2009
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea: Living Resources Provisions

U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea: Living Resources Provisions

Date: June 22, 2009
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Ocean Acidification

Ocean Acidification

Date: May 27, 2009
Creator: Buck, Eugene H. & Folger, Peter
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Environmental Activities of the U.S. Coast Guard

Environmental Activities of the U.S. Coast Guard

Date: May 7, 2009
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background, Governance, and Issues for Congress

Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background, Governance, and Issues for Congress

Date: April 23, 2009
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Ocean Acidification

Ocean Acidification

Date: April 2, 2009
Creator: Buck, Eugene H. & Folger, Peter
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Whales and Sonar: Environmental Exemptions for the Navy's Mid-Frequency Active Sonar Training

Whales and Sonar: Environmental Exemptions for the Navy's Mid-Frequency Active Sonar Training

Date: February 18, 2009
Creator: Alexander, Kristina
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Whales and Sonar: Environmental Exemptions for the Navy's Mid-Frequency Active Sonar Training

Whales and Sonar: Environmental Exemptions for the Navy's Mid-Frequency Active Sonar Training

Date: February 18, 2009
Creator: Alexander, Kristina
Description: This report discusses litigation regarding the use of mid-frequency active sonar training exercises and its effects on marine mammals.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Marine Protected Areas: An Overview

Marine Protected Areas: An Overview

Date: February 6, 2009
Creator: Upton, Harold F. & Buck, Eugene H.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Offshore Oil and Gas Development: Legal Framework

Offshore Oil and Gas Development: Legal Framework

Date: January 30, 2009
Creator: Vann, Adam
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea: Living Resources Provisions

U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea: Living Resources Provisions

Date: January 30, 2009
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 110th Congress

Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 110th Congress

Date: January 12, 2009
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Gas Hydrates: Resource and Hazard

Gas Hydrates: Resource and Hazard

Date: November 26, 2008
Creator: Folger, Peter
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Ocean Dumping Act: A Summary of the Law

Ocean Dumping Act: A Summary of the Law

Date: November 17, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Marine Protected Areas: An Overview

Marine Protected Areas: An Overview

Date: November 14, 2008
Creator: Upton, Harold F. & Buck, Eugene H.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Whales and Sonar: Environmental Exemptions for the Navy's Mid-Frequency Active Sonar Training

Whales and Sonar: Environmental Exemptions for the Navy's Mid-Frequency Active Sonar Training

Date: November 14, 2008
Creator: Alexander, Kristina
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Environmental Activities of the U.S. Coast Guard

Environmental Activities of the U.S. Coast Guard

Date: November 3, 2008
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 110th Congress

Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 110th Congress

Date: October 8, 2008
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Issues Affecting Tidal, Wave, and In-Stream Generation Projects

Issues Affecting Tidal, Wave, and In-Stream Generation Projects

Date: October 7, 2008
Creator: Lane, Nic
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Wave, Tidal, and In-Stream Energy Projects: Which Federal Agency Has the Lead?

Wave, Tidal, and In-Stream Energy Projects: Which Federal Agency Has the Lead?

Date: October 7, 2008
Creator: Lane, Nic
Description: 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).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 110th Congress

Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 110th Congress

Date: September 18, 2008
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Royalty Relief for U.S. Deepwater Oil and Gas Leases

Royalty Relief for U.S. Deepwater Oil and Gas Leases

Date: September 18, 2008
Creator: Humphries, Marc
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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