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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Marine Protected Areas: An Overview

Marine Protected Areas: An Overview

Date: February 6, 2009
Creator: Upton, Harold F.
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.
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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
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.
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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.
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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
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