Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

ABOUT BROWSE FEED
Coastal Zone Management Reauthorization: An Overview
Congress is considering legislation that would reauthorize the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972. This overview summarizes the programs created by this act and its amendments, and outlines issues associated with reauthorization. These issues include reauthorizing funding, altering grant programs, changing the National Estuarine Research Reserve system, funding to implement nonpoint water pollution requirements, protecting private property rights, expanding program evaluation efforts, and examining effects of personal water craft on the coastal requirement. A reauthorization bill has been reported by the House Resources Committee (H.R. 2669, H. Rept. 106-485), and floor action is anticipated soon. In the Senate, no action has been taken.
Marine Protected Areas: An Overview
No Description Available.
Marine Protected Areas: An Overview
No Description Available.
The Northern Right Whale
No Description Available.
Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 109th Congress
Fish and marine mammals are important resources in open ocean and nearshore coastal areas; many federal laws and regulations guide their management. This report discusses a variety of laws and legislation pertaining to this issue.
Management of U.S. Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species
No Description Available.
Dolphin Protection and Tuna Seining
From its inception in 1972, one of the goals of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) was to reduce the incidental mortality of dolphins in the ETP tuna fishery. Regulations promulgated under MMPA authority set standards for tuna seining and motivated technological improvements that reduced dolphin mortalities in this fishery -- by 1977, annual dolphin mortality by U.S. tuna seiners had declined to about 25,450 animals. Despite the extensive mortalities, no ETP dolphin population has been listed as endangered or threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. However, two ETP dolphin stocks were listed as depleted under the MMPA.
Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 109th Congress
Fish and marine mammals are important resources in open ocean and nearshore coastal areas; many federal laws and regulations guide their management. This report discusses a variety of laws and legislation pertaining to this issue.
The Law of the Sea Convention and U.S. Policy
On November 16, 1994, the U.N. Law of the Sea Convention entered into force but without accession by the United States. The major part of the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention had been supported by U.s. Administrations, beginning with President Reagan, as fulfilling U.S. interests in having a comprehensive legal framework relating to competing uses of the world's oceans. However, the United States and many industrialized countries found some of the provisions relating to deep seabed mining in Part XI and Annexes III and IV of the Convention contrary to their interests and would not sign or act to ratify the Convention. A number of questions face the Senate as it considers the Convention/Agreement package, including the following: 1) Does the Agreement sufficiently resolve opposing concerns about the deep seabed mining provisions? 2) What precedent does U.S. acceptance of the Convention/Agreement definition of the common heritage of mankind concept establish? 3) What authority should Congress exert over the expenses of another international organization (the International Seabed Authority)?
The Law of the Sea Convention and U.S. Policy
No Description Available.
The Law of the Sea Convention and U.S. Policy
No Description Available.
The Law of the Sea Convention and U.S. Policy
No Description Available.
The Law of the Sea Convention and U.S. Policy
No Description Available.
The Law of the Sea Convention and U.S. Policy
No Description Available.
The Law of the Sea Convention and U.S. Policy
No Description Available.
The Law of the Sea Convention and U.S. Policy
No Description Available.
The Law of the Sea Convention and U.S. Policy
No Description Available.
The Law of the Sea Convention and U.S. Policy
No Description Available.
The Law of the Sea Convention and U.S. Policy
No Description Available.
Law of the Sea: the International Seabed Authority - Its Status and U.S. Participation Therein
No Description Available.
The U.N. Law of the Sea Convention and the United States: Developments Since October 2003
On October 31, 2007, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted to recommend Senate advice and consent to U.S. adherence to the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 1994 Agreement Relating to Implementation of Part XI of that Convention. This followed the statement by President Bush on May 15, 2007, urging “the Senate to act favorably on U.S. accession” to the Convention. CRS Issue Brief IB95010, The Law of the Sea Convention and U.S. Policy, serves as a basic CRS source for discussion of issues related to the United States and the Convention and Agreement, whereas this report focuses on events and issues that emerged since October 2003. It summarizes the committee’s proposed resolution of advice and consent in 2004 and presents some of the issues raised in support of and in opposition to U.S. adherence.
The U.N. Law of the Sea Convention and the United States: Developments Since October 2003
No Description Available.
The U.N. Law of the Sea Convention and the United States: Developments Since October 2003
No Description Available.
The U.N. Law of the Sea Convention and the United States: Developments Since October 2003
No Description Available.
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.
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.
The Endangered Species Act: A Primer
The Endangered Species Act (ESA)1 receives significant congressional attention. The associated power and reach of its comprehensive protection for species identified as endangered or threatened with extinction has ignited concern that there be appropriate bounds on this power. The following discussion provides an overview and background on the various features of the ESA that contribute to its stature and yet spark an ongoing debate over its implementation.
The Endangered Species Act: A Primer
The Endangered Species Act (ESA)1 receives significant congressional attention. The associated power and reach of its comprehensive protection for species identified as endangered or threatened with extinction has ignited concern that there be appropriate bounds on this power. The following discussion provides an overview and background on the various features of the ESA that contribute to its stature and yet spark an ongoing debate over its implementation.
Marine Dead Zones: Understanding the Problem
No Description Available.
Agreements to Promote Fishery Conservation and Management in International Waters
Declining fish populations threaten an important food source. Natural catastrophes, pollution, habitat destruction, and overfishing contribute to the depletion of fish stocks. Overexploitation of fishery resources often occurs when management allows expanding and increasingly efficient fishing fleets to continue harvesting dwindling supplies. Although prevalent, overexploitation is not universal and its extent varies among areas, species, and fisheries. This report discusses the issue of overfishing and its possible consequences, as well as domestic and international efforts to combat overfishing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.