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H.R. 2091 (ih) To designate the Republic of Montenegro, the Former Yugoslav Republic [Introduced in House] ...


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                                                 Union Calendar No. 471
106th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 2090

                          [Report No. 106-810]

   To direct the Secretary of Commerce to contract with the National 
Academy of Sciences to establish the Coordinated Oceanographic Program 
Advisory Panel to report to the Congress on the feasibility and social 
              value of a coordinated oceanography program.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                              June 9, 1999

  Mr. Greenwood (for himself, Mr. Saxton, Mr. Farr of California, Mr. 
 Gilchrest, Mr. Romero-Barcelo, Mr. Sensenbrenner, Mr. Underwood, Mrs. 
  Morella, Mrs. Capps, Mr. Calvert, Mr. English, Mr. Blumenauer, Mr. 
   Foley, Mr. Ehlers, Mr. Franks of New Jersey, Mr. Bilbray, and Mr. 
  Gutierrez) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
                         Committee on Resources

                           September 6, 2000

  Reported with an amendment, committed to the Committee of the Whole 
       House on the State of the Union, and ordered to be printed
 [Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed 
                               in italic]
 [For text of introduced bill, see copy of bill as introduced on June 
                               19, 1999]

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
   To direct the Secretary of Commerce to contract with the National 
Academy of Sciences to establish the Coordinated Oceanographic Program 
Advisory Panel to report to the Congress on the feasibility and social 
              value of a coordinated oceanography program.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Exploration of the Seas Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:
            (1) During the past 100 years, scientists working with 
        marine fossils, both underwater and high in the mountains, have 
        traced the origins of life on Earth to the sea, beginning 
        approximately 3 billion years ago. Today, life on our planet 
        remains dependent on the vitality of the sea.
            (2) More than two-thirds of the Earth's surface is covered 
        by water, with oceans and inland seas accounting for almost 140 
        million square miles.
            (3) The United Nations forecasts a worldwide population of 
        8.9 billion by the year 2050, a 50 percent increase from 5.9 
        billion in 1999. As this trend in population growth continues, 
        increasing demands will be placed on ocean and coastal 
        resources, not only as a result of population growth in coastal 
        regions, but also from the need to harvest increasing amounts 
        of marine life as a source of food to satisfy world protein 
        requirements, and from the mining of energy-producing materials 
        from offshore resource deposits.
            (4) The ocean remains one of the Earth's last unexplored 
        frontiers. It has stirred our imaginations over the millennia, 
        led to the discovery of new lands, immense mineral deposits, 
        and reservoirs of other resources, and produced startling 
        scientific findings. Recognizing the importance of the marine 
        environment, the need for scientific exploration to expand our 
        knowledge of the world's oceans is crucial if we are to ensure 
        that the marine environment will be managed sustainably.
            (5) The seas possess enormous economic and environmental 
        importance. Some ocean resources, such as fisheries and 
        minerals, are well recognized. Oil use has increased 
        dramatically in recent times, and the sea bed holds large 
        deposits of largely undiscovered reserves. Other ocean 
        resources offer promise for the future. In addition to fossil 
        fuels, the ocean floor contains deposits of gravel, sand, 
        manganese crusts and nodules, tin, gold, and diamonds. Marine 
        mineral resources are extensive, yet poorly understood.
            (6) The oceans also offer rich untapped potential for 
        medications. Marine plants and animals possess inestimable 
        potential in the treatment of human illnesses. Coral reefs, 
        sometimes described as the rain forests of the sea, contain 
        uncommon chemicals that may be used to fight diseases for which 
        scientists have not yet found a cure, such as cancer, acquired 
        immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), and diabetes. While the 
        number of new chemical compounds that can be derived from land 
        based plants and microbial fermentation is limited, scientists 
        have only just begun to explore the sea's vast molecular 
        potential.
            (7) In spite of the development of new technologies, 
        comparatively little of the ocean has been studied. The 
        leadership role of the United States has been eroded by a 
        gradual decrease in funding support, even while public opinion 
        surveys indicate that ocean exploration is at least as 
        important as space exploration.
            (8) The National Academy of Sciences has the means by which 
        to study and make determinations regarding the adoption and 
        establishment of a coordinated oceanography program for the 
        exploration of the seas, in which the National Oceanic and 
        Atmospheric Administration could participate in a role similar 
        to that of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration 
        with regard to the International Space Station.

SEC. 3. COORDINATED OCEANOGRAPHIC PROGRAM ADVISORY PANEL.

    (a) In General.--Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment 
of this Act and subject to the availability of appropriations, the 
Secretary of Commerce shall contract with the National Academy of 
Sciences to establish the Coordinated Oceanography Program Advisory 
Panel (in this Act referred to as the ``Panel''), comprised of experts 
in ocean studies, including individuals with academic experience in 
oceanography, marine biology, marine geology, ichthyology, and ocean 
related economics.
    (b) Chairperson and Vice Chairperson.--The Panel shall elect a 
chairperson and a vice-chairperson.
    (c) Termination.--The Panel shall cease to exist 30 days after 
submitting its final report and recommendations pursuant to section 4.

SEC. 4. REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS.

    (a) 

Pages: 1

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