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                                                       Calendar No. 462
107th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     107-187
_______________________________________________________________________



           NATIONAL SEA GRANT COLLEGE PROGRAM ACT AMENDMENTS

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                                   on

                                S. 2428




                 June 27, 2002.--Ordered to be printed
                               __________

                    U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
99-010                    WASHINGTON : 2002


       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
                      one hundred seventh congress
                             second session

              ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, South Carolina, Chairman
DANIEL K. INOUYE, Hawaii             JOHN McCAIN, Arizona
JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, West         TED STEVENS, Alaska
    Virginia                         CONRAD BURNS, Montana
JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts         TRENT LOTT, Mississippi
JOHN B. BREAUX, Louisiana            KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON, Texas
BYRON L. DORGAN, North Dakota        OLYMPIA SNOWE, Maine
RON WYDEN, Oregon                    SAM BROWNBACK, Kansas
MAX CLELAND, Georgia                 GORDON SMITH, Oregon
BARBARA BOXER, California            PETER G. FITZGERALD, Illinois
JOHN EDWARDS, North Carolina         JOHN ENSIGN, Nevada
JEAN CARNAHAN, Missouri              GEORGE ALLEN, Virginia
BILL NELSON, Florida
                     Kevin D. Kayes, Staff Director
                       Moses Boyd, Chief Counsel
                      Gregg Elias, General Counsel
      Jeanne Bumpus, Republican Staff Director and General Counsel
             Ann Begeman, Republican Deputy Staff Director

                                                       Calendar No. 462
107th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     107-187

======================================================================



 
           NATIONAL SEA GRANT COLLEGE PROGRAM ACT AMENDMENTS

                                _______
                                

                 June 27, 2002.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

      Mr. Hollings, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
                Transportation, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 2428]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 2428) to amend the National Sea 
Grant College Program Act, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon without amendment and recommends that the 
bill do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

  S. 2428, as reported, would reauthorize the National Sea 
Grant College Program Act within the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration, authorize funding levels for the 
program for Fiscal Years 2004 through 2008, and make 
modifications to improve the operation of the program.

                          Background and Needs

  The National Sea Grant College Program (Sea Grant) was 
established by Congress in 1966. Originally placed in the 
National Science Foundation, Sea Grant was moved to the 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) upon its 
establishment in 1970, where it is located within the Office of 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. Sea Grant is modeled after 
the successful cooperative agricultural research and extension 
efforts of the Land-Grant College Program and works to create 
partnerships among universities, industry, and other groups to 
promote cost-effective and sustainable use of the nation's 
ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources. Sea Grant encompasses 
scientific research, education, advisory programs, and 
extension services. Its emphasis on applied research allows the 
transfer of information and technologies from universities and 
government agencies to the private sector. Currently, there are 
31 Sea Grant programs, located in coastal and Great Lakes 
States and Puerto Rico, that serve as the core of a national 
network of over 300 participating institutions involving more 
than 3,000 scientists, engineers, educators, students, and 
outreach experts.
  The designation of Sea Grant colleges and institutional 
programs--made by the National Sea Grant Director with the aid 
of the Sea Grant Review Panel--is based in large part on an 
institution's demonstrated record of performance in addressing 
concerns related to marine or Great Lakes issues, in addition 
to other criteria. Sea Grant colleges and institutional 
programs receive federal funds through the National Sea Grant 
Office within NOAA. Such funds may cover up to two-thirds of 
the cost of a project; at least one-third of the cost of a 
project must come from non-federal matching funds. The National 
Sea Grant Office administers the overall program, reviews 
proposals for grants and contracts, and manages the Dean John 
A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program which places 
graduate-level fellows in the legislative and executive 
branches. Over 90 percent of the funds appropriated for the Sea 
Grant program are distributed to Sea Grant colleges and 
institutional programs, with additional funds used primarily 
for administration and fellowships.
  While the Sea Grant Program enjoys broad-based support within 
the academic community and marine industry groups, the 
Administration's Fiscal Year 2003 (FY) budget proposes to 
transfer and modify NOAA Sea Grant program to the National 
Science Foundation in order ``to promote rigorous, merit-based 
competition among researchers.'' The Committee strongly 
disagrees with the Administration's assessment that there is a 
need to transfer the program and opposes the Administration's 
proposal. The Administration has not provided any information 
to the Committee that would lend support to the need for a 
transfer to promote merit-based competition. Moreover, the 
Administration's FY 2003 budget proposal is contrary to law and 
to Congressional intent. Existing law authorizes the Sea Grant 
program in NOAA through the end of FY 2003. Further, 
transfering of the program to the National Science Foundation 
would result in the elimination of the Sea Grant extension 
services, a unique and important component of the Sea Grant 
Program.
  Sea Grant has a rigorous, merit-based grant process, which 
has been greatly improved by amendments provided in the 
previous reauthorization, in response to recommendations of the 
National Research Council (NRC). Programmatic and 
administrative changes have also been made to respond to the 
recommendations of the Mandate to Engage Coastal Users: A 
Review of the National Sea Grant College Extension Program. 
Information provided by the National Sea Grant Office indicates 
that during the 2000/2001 biennium, 2,249 proposals were 
submitted to Sea Grant competitions, of which 520 projects were 
selected for funding (an approval rate of 22 percent). Of the 
435 awards to principal investigators for Sea Grant research 
projects in FY 2001, only 135 were also principal investigators 
in FY 1998, representing an award rate turnover of 70 percent.
  There is substantial support for the extension program. 
Approximately 34 percent of the funds awarded by Sea Grant in 
FY 2001 were used for proposal-based and peer-reviewed 
Extension, Communication, and Education programs necessary to 
meet the Congressional mandate of the program, many of which 
would not be possible under the National Science Foundation.
  Concerns have been raised that core funding for participating 
colleges and institutions has remained level due to funding 
constraints on increases for special purpose initiatives 
controlled by the National Sea Grant Office. One identified 
result of this funding limitation has been the loss through 
attrition of approximately one-third of the field extension 
officers within the Sea Grant colleges and institutions.

                          Legislative History

  The National Sea Grant College Program Act was last amended 
and reauthorized in the 105th Congress (P.L. 105-160). The 
program is currently authorized through FY 2003 within NOAA. On 
April 30, 2002, Senator Kerry introduced S. 2428, the National 
Sea Grant College Program Act Amendments of 2002. The bill is 
cosponsored by Senators Snowe, Hollings, Stevens, Breaux, 
Murkowski, Sarbanes, Reed, Feingold, Wyden, Gordon Smith, 
Akaka, Cochran, Warner, Gregg, Chafee, Collins, DeWine, 
Landrieu, Mikulski, Torricelli, and Corzine. On May 1, 2002, 
the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation 
held a hearing on the FY 2003 budget and programs of NOAA. The 
Committee received testimony from Vice Admiral Conrad C. 
Lautenbacher (ret.) USN, NOAA Administrator & Under Secretary 
of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, regarding the 
Administration's proposal to transfer the Sea Grant Program to 
the National Science Foundation. At its May 16, 2002, executive 
session, the Commerce Committee ordered S. 2428 to be reported 
without amendment.
  The House of Representatives has introduced a similar bill 
(H.R. 3389), which has been favorably reported by the House 
Resources Committee and the House Science Committee, although 
some discrepancies between the two versions have not been 
resolved.

                      Summary of Major Provisions


                    AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS

  S. 2428 would reauthorize the National Sea Grant College 
Program Act and provides increased funding authorization levels 
for FY 2004 through FY 2008. The bill would authorize $75 
million for FY 2004, $77.5 million for FY 2005, $80 million for 
FY 2006, $82.5 million for FY 2007, and $85 million for FY 
2008. The $75 million authorization for FY 2004 represents a 25 
percent increase over the FY 2003 authorization level of $60 
million. This increase is intended to address concerns of 
insufficient funding in recent years and reinvigorate core 
program support, as well as facilitate new program development.
  The bill would also extend the authorization of $5 million in 
each of the fiscal years 2004 through 2008 for priority 
research in each of the following three areas: biology and 
control of zebra mussels and other important non-native species 
as identified in the Non-indigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention 
and Control Act of 1990; oyster diseases, oyster restoration, 
and oyster-related human health risks; and the biology, 
prevention, and forecasting of harmful algal blooms.
  S. 2428 would also authorize an additional $3 million to 
enhance the fisheries extension program. The Committee intends 
that this additional authorization level will provide the 
funding necessary for Sea Grant colleges and institutions to 
properly address extension and outreach workforce needs through 
the deployment of additional fisheries extension agents.
  The bill would reassure that no more than 5 percent of funds 
may be used for administration of the program. This cap is 
intended to guarantee that Sea Grant funds will be used 
primarily to support the network of participating institutions.

                         DISTRIBUTION OF FUNDS

  S. 2428 also contains provisions that would recognize 
achievements of individual programs through the awarding, on a 
competitive basis, of additional funds. The bill would provide 
that in any fiscal year in which appropriations exceed the 
amounts appropriated for FY 2003, the additional amounts 
(except amounts used for administration of programs) are to be 
distributed to State programs on a merit reviewed, competitive 
basis to support, enhance, and reward programs that are best 
managed and carry out the highest quality research, education, 
extension, and training programs, and to support national 
strategic initiatives. The Committee believes that increasing 
Sea Grant's reliance on competitive, merit review procedures 
for both the State programs and the national strategic 
competitions will improve the quality of the program.
  This provision was also included to address concerns raised 
that no set formula or transparent process exists by which 
current funding allocation decisions are made, and to ensure 
the equitable distribution of future funding among the States 
is based upon individual program merits instead of historical 
trends. The National Sea Grant College Program Act does not 
specify how federal funding should be allocated among State Sea 
Grant colleges and institutions. It is the view of the 
Committee that amounts appropriated in excess of FY 2003 levels 
should be allocated, with due consideration, to the following 
priorities:
          (1) Adjust base funding for existing State Sea Grant 
        Programs to address funding inequities that exist due 
        to historical trends;
          (2) Provide funds to State Sea Grant Programs to 
        restore their capabilities and program activities lost 
        through erosion of spending power, including the loss 
        of Sea Grant extension program personnel;
          (3) Provide significant funding to State Sea Grant 
        Programs to reward them for demonstrated excellence in 
        performance and results; and
          (4) Provide funding for use in nurturing the 
        development of new Sea Grant College Programs.

             PUBLIC/PRIVATE COLLABORATION AND COORDINATION

  S. 2428 would amend existing findings to recognize the cost 
effectiveness of, and to promote strong collaborations between, 
Administration scientists and scientists at academic 
institutions. The bill further would instruct the Director of 
the National Sea Grant College Program to encourage and promote 
coordination and cooperation between the research, education, 
and outreach programs of the Administration and those of 
academic institutions.

                       QUADRENNIAL STRATEGIC PLAN

  S. 2428 would require the Secretary of Commerce to develop, 
at least on a quadrennial basis, a strategic plan for the 
National Sea Grant College Program reflecting an appropriately 
balanced response to local, regional, and national needs, 
reflective of integration with the strategic plans of the 
Department of Commerce and of NOAA. The last reauthorization of 
the National Sea Grant College Program Act in 1997 required the 
Secretary to develop a long-range strategic plan that 
establishes priorities for the program. However, no mechanism 
for regular review of the strategic plan or its consistency 
with the missions and activities of the Department and NOAA 
currently exists. It is the Committee's view that such regular 
review of the strategic plan and priorities of the National Sea 
Grant College Program is necessary to avoid duplication of 
efforts, to ensure that research areas are covered adequately, 
and to balance local, regional, and national needs.

                         ENSURING EQUAL ACCESS

  S. 2428 would require that equal access for minority and 
economically disadvantaged students be provided under the 
graduate and post-graduate level fellowship programs.

                         SEA GRANT REVIEW PANEL

  S. 2428 would adjust the term of office for a voting member 
of the Sea Grant review panel to 4 years for appointed or 
reappointed members.

                            Estimated Costs

  In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                      Washington, DC, May 22, 2002.
Hon. Ernest F. Hollings,
Chairman, Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, U.S. 
        Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 2428, the National 
Sea Grant College Program Act Amendments of 2002.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provided them. The CBO staff contact is Deborah 
Reis.
            Sincerely,
                                           Steven Lieberman
                                    (For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
    Enclosure.

S. 2428--National Sea Grant College Program Act Amendments of 2002

    Summary: S. 2428 would authorize funding for the national 
sea grant college program through fiscal year 2008. Assuming 
appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO estimates that 
implementing the bill would cost $297 million over the 2003-
2007 period to carry out these activities. (An additional $193 
million would be spent after 2007, including $103 million 
authorized to be appropriated for 2008.) The legislation would 
not affect direct spending or receipts; therefore, pay-as-you-
go procedures would not apply.
    The bill contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of S. 2428 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 300 
(natural resources and environment).
    The bill would authorize the appropriation of $490 million, 
including $387 million over the 2003-2007 and $103 million for 
fiscal year 2008, for the national sea grant program. These 
funds would be used to carry out the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) contract, grant, 
fellowship, and administrative functions under this program. 
For this estimate, CBO assumes that all amounts authorized by 
S. 2428 will be appropriated by the start of each fiscal year 
and that outlays will follow historical spending patterns for 
the sea grants program.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
                                                                   2002    2003    2004    2005    2006    2007
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Spending Under Current Law:
    Authorization Level \1\.....................................      62      69       0       0       0       0
    Estimated Outlays...........................................      55      62      47      14       0       0
Proposed Changes:
    Authorization Level.........................................       0       0      93      96      98     101
    Estimated Outlays...........................................       0       0      28      75      96      98
Spending Under S. 2428:
    Authorization Level.........................................      62      69      93      96      98     101
    Estimated Outlays...........................................      55      62      75      89      96      98
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The 2002 level is the amount appropriated for that year for a sea grants and related grant programs
  authorized by S. 2428. The 2003 level is the amount authorized for such appropriations.

    Pay-as-you-go considerations: None.
    Estimated impact on state, local, and tribal governments: 
S. 2428 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined in 
UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments. The bill would benefit public universities by 
reauthorizing the national sea grant college program, which 
provides grants for programs to improve marine resource 
conservation, management, and utilization. Any costs incurred 
by public universities to participate in this program would be 
voluntary. In addition, the bill could benefit state 
governments that have implemented state sea grant programs by 
authorizing NOAA to distribute any excess amounts appropriated 
above the 2002 level to state sea grant programs (using a 
competitive, merit-based review). Any costs incurred by states 
would be voluntary.
    Estimated impact on the private sector: S. 2428 would 
impose no new private-sector mandates as defined in UMRA.
    Previous CBO estimate: On March 5, 2002, CBO transmitted a 
cost estimate for H.R. 3389, the National Sea Grant College 
Program Act Amendments of 2002, as ordered reported by the 
House Committee on Resources on February 27, 2002. The cost of 
the Senate bill is lower than the House Resources Committee 
version because it does not authorize funding for NOAA's ocean 
coastal research program or for the one-year grant to certain 
Pacific islands as the Resources Committee version did.
    On April 4, 2002, CBO transmitted an estimate for H.R. 3389 
as ordered reported by the House Committee on Science on March 
20, 2002. The House Science Committee version of the 
legislation includes authorizations for fiscal year 2003, which 
the Senate bill does not.
    In addition to these differences, the Senate bill includes 
an annual authorization of $3 million in appropriations for 
fisheries extension grants. Neither House version of the 
legislation contained this provision.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Cost: Deborah Reis; Impact on 
State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Elyse Goldman; and Impact 
on the Private Sector: Cecil McPherson.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

  In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation, as reported:
  Because S. 2428 does not create any new programs, the 
legislation would have no additional regulatory impact, and 
would result in no additional reporting requirements for 
businesses or individuals.

                       NUMBER OF PERSONS COVERED

  Sea Grant is a scientific research and extension program and 
does not regulate the activities of private citizens or 
businesses. Institutions receiving grants or contracts through 
Sea Grant must meet requirements specified in law and by 
regulation for grant and contract recipients, but these 
requirements are only imposed as a condition of receiving 
federal funding. S. 2428 simply reauthorizes Sea Grant and 
therefore, would not subject any private citizens or businesses 
not participating in the program to additional regulation.

                            ECONOMIC IMPACT

  Section 5 of the bill would authorize appropriations for Sea 
Grant of $93.0 million in FY 2004, $95.5 million in FY 2005, 
$98.0 million in FY 2006, $100.5 million in FY 2007, and $103 
million in FY 2008. These authorization levels are intended to 
improve the performance of the National Sea Grant College 
Program and should have a beneficial impact on the economy of 
the United States.

                                PRIVACY

  This legislation would not have any adverse impact on the 
personal privacy of the individuals that will be impacted by 
this legislation.

                               PAPERWORK

  S. 2428 would not impose any new paperwork requirements on 
private citizens or businesses that do not choose to 
participate in Sea Grant; entities choosing to participate in 
the program may be subject to some changes in the paperwork 
requirements of the program. Additionally, the bill requires 
the Secretary of Commerce to develop at least every 4 years a 
strategic plan, which establishes priorities for the National 
Sea Grant College Program and is reflective of integration with 
the strategic plans of the Department of Commerce and of NOAA.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title

  Section 1 of the bill would state the short title of the bill 
as the ``National Sea Grant College Program Act Amendments of 
2002''.

Section 2. Amendments to findings

  Section of the bill would amend section 202(a)(6) of the 
National Sea Grant College Program Act (the Act) to encourage 
strong collaborations between Administration scientists and 
academic institutions.

Section 3. Requirements applicable to National Sea Grant College 
        Program

  Section 3 of the bill would make changes to the requirements 
and responsibilities of the Secretary of Commerce and of the 
Director of the National Sea Grant Program under section 204 of 
the Act; and provides further direction to the Secretary under 
section 208 of the Act.
  The legislation would amend section 204(c)(1) of the Act to 
require the Secretary to develop, at least on a quadrennial 
basis, a strategic plan for the National Sea Grant College 
Program reflecting an appropriately balanced response to local, 
regional, and national needs; reflective of integration with 
the strategic plans of the Department of Commerce and of the 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  The legislation would also amend section 204(d)(3)(B) of the 
Act to include language that the Director of the National Sea 
Grant College Program shall encourage and promote coordination 
and cooperation between the research, education, and outreach 
programs of the Administration and those of academic 
institutions.
  The legislation would further amend section 208(a) of the Act 
to include language that the Secretary shall strive to provide 
equal access for minority and economically disadvantaged 
students under the graduate and post-graduate level fellowship 
programs.

Section 4. Terms of membership for Sea Grant Review Panel

  Section 4 of the bill would amend section 209(c)(2) of the 
Act, adjusting the term of office for a voting member of the 
panel to 4 years for members appointed or reappointed after the 
date of enactment.

Section 5. Authorization of appropriations

  Section 5 of the bill would amend section 212 of the Act by 
authorizing appropriations for five years, placing limitations 
on appropriated funds, and providing direction on the 
distribution of new funds.
  The legislation would amend section 212(a)(1) of the Act by 
authorizing $75 million for FY 2004; $77.5 million for FY 2005; 
$80 million for FY 2006; $82.5 for FY 2007; and $85 million for 
FY 2008.
  The legislation would amend section 212(a)(2) of the Act by 
authorizing $5 million for each fiscal year 2004 through 2008 
for priority research into zebra mussels and other important 
non-native species, oysters, and harmful algal blooms. It would 
also authorize a previously appropriated amount of $3 million 
to enhance the fisheries extension program.
  The legislation would require that no more than 5 percent of 
the funds may be used for administration of the program.
  The legislation would insert a provision that in any fiscal 
year in which appropriations exceed the amounts appropriated 
for FY 2003, the additional amounts (except amounts used for 
administration of programs) be distributed to State programs on 
a merit reviewed, competitive basis to support, enhance, and 
reward programs that are best managed and carry out the highest 
quality research, education, extension, and training programs, 
and to support national strategic initiatives.

                        Changes in Existing Law

  In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by the bill, 
as reported, are shown as follows (existing law proposed to be 
omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new material is printed 
in italic, existing law in which no change is proposed is shown 
in roman):

                 NATIONAL SEA GRANT COLLEGE PROGRAM ACT

                        [33 U.S.C. 1121 et seq.]

SEC. 202. CONGRESSIONAL DECLARATION OF POLICY.

                            [33 U.S.C. 1121]

  (a) Findings.--The Congress finds and declares the following:
          (1) The national interest requires a strategy to--
                  (A) provide for the understanding and wise 
                use of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes 
                resources and the environment;
                  (B) foster economic competitiveness;
                  (C) promote public stewardship and wise 
                economic development of the coastal ocean and 
                its margins, the Great Lakes, and the exclusive 
                economic zone;
                  (D) encourage the development of forecast and 
                analysis systems for coastal hazards;
                  (E) understand global environmental 
                processes; and
                  (F) promote domestic and international 
                cooperative solutions to ocean, coastal, and 
                Great Lakes issues.
          (2) Investment in a strong program of research, 
        education, training, technology transfer, and public 
        service is essential for this strategy.
          (3) The expanding use and development of ocean, 
        coastal, and Great Lakes resources resulting from 
        growing coastal area populations and the increasing 
        pressures on the coastal and Great Lakes environment 
        challenge the ability of the United States to manage 
        such resources wisely.
          (4) The vitality of the Nation and the quality of 
        life of its citizens depend increasingly on the 
        understanding, assessment, development, utilization, 
        and conservation of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes 
        resources. These resources supply food, energy, and 
        minerals and contribute to human health, the quality of 
        the environment, national security, and the enhancement 
        of commerce.
          (5) The understanding, assessment, development, 
        utilization, and conservation of such resources require 
        a broad commitment and an intense involvement on the 
        part of the Federal Government in continuing 
        partnership with State and local governments, private 
        industry, universities, organizations, and individuals 
        concerned with or affected by ocean, coastal, and Great 
        Lakes resources.
          (6) The National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
        Administration, through the national sea grant college 
        program, offers the mostsuitable locus and means for 
        such commitment and involvement through the promotion of 
        activities that will result in greater such understanding, 
        assessment, development, utilization, and conservation. The 
        most cost-effective way to promote such activities is through 
        continued and increased Federal support of the establishment, 
        development, and operation of programs and projects by sea grant 
        colleges, sea grant institutes, and other [institutions.] 
        institutions, including strong collaborations between 
        Administration scientists and scientists at academic 
        institutions.
  (b) Objective.--The objective of this title is to increase 
the understanding, assessment, development, utilization, and 
conservation of the Nation's ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes 
resources by providing assistance to promote a strong 
educational base, responsive research and training activities, 
broad and prompt dissemination of knowledge and techniques, and 
multidisciplinary approaches to environmental problems.
  (c) Purpose.--It is the purpose of the Congress to achieve 
the objective of this title by extending and strengthening the 
national sea grant program, initially established in 1966, to 
promote research, education, training, and advisory service 
activities in fields related to ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes 
resources.

SEC. 204. NATIONAL SEA GRANT COLLEGE PROGRAM.

                            [33 U.S.C. 1123]

  (a) Program maintenance.--The Secretary shall maintain within 
the Administration a program to be known as the national sea 
grant college program. The national sea grant college program 
shall be administered by a national sea grant office within the 
Administration.
  (b) Program elements.--The national sea grant college program 
shall consist of the financial assistance and other activities 
authorized in this title, and shall provide support for the 
following elements--
          (1) sea grant programs which comprise a national sea 
        grant college program network, including international 
        projects conducted within such programs;
          (2) administration of the national sea grant college 
        program and this title by the national sea grant 
        office, the Administration, and the panel;
          (3) the fellowship program under section 208; and
          (4) any national strategic investments in fields 
        relating to ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources 
        developed with the approval of the panel, the sea grant 
        colleges, and the sea grant institutes.
  (c) Responsibilities of the Secretary.--
          (1) [The Secretary, in consultation with the panel, 
        sea grant colleges, and sea grant institutes, shall 
        develop a long-range strategic plan which establishes 
        priorities for the national sea grant college program 
        and which provides an appropriately balanced response 
        to local, regional, and national needs.] The Secretary, 
        in consultation with the panel, sea grant colleges, and 
        sea grant institutes, shall develop at least every 4 
        years a strategic plan which establishes priorities for 
        the national sea grant college program, provides an 
        appropriately balanced response to local, regional, and 
        national needs, and is reflective of integration with 
        the strategic plans of the Department of Commerce and 
        of NOAA.
          (2) Within 6 months of the date of enactment of the 
        National Sea Grant College Program Reauthorization Act 
        of 1998, the Secretary, in consultation with the panel, 
        sea grant colleges, and sea grant institutes, shall 
        establish guidelines related to the activities and 
        responsibilities of sea grant colleges and sea grant 
        institutes. Such guidelines shall include requirements 
        for the conduct of merit review by the sea grant 
        colleges and sea grant institutes of proposals for 
        grants and contracts to be awarded under section 205, 
        providing, at a minimum, for standardized documentation 
        of such proposals and peer review of all research 
        projects.
          (3) The Secretary shall by regulation prescribe the 
        qualifications required for designation of sea grant 
        colleges and sea grant institutes under section 207.
          (4) To carry out the provisions of this title, the 
        Secretary may--
                  (A) appoint, assign the duties, transfer, and 
                fix the compensation of such personnel as may 
                be necessary, in accordance with civil service 
                laws;
                  (B) make appointments with respect to 
                temporary and intermittent services to the 
                extent authorized by section 3109 of title 5, 
                United States Code;
                  (C) publish or arrange for the publication 
                of, and otherwise disseminate, in cooperation 
                with other offices and programs in the 
                Administration and without regard to section 
                501 of title 44, United States Code, any 
                information of research, educational, training 
                or other value in fields related to ocean, 
                coastal, or Great Lakes resources;
                  (D) enter into contracts, cooperative 
                agreements, and other transactions without 
                regard to section 5 of title 41, United States 
                Code;
                  (E) notwithstanding section 1342 of title 31, 
                United States Code, accept donations and 
                voluntary and uncompensated services;
                  (F) accept funds from other Federal 
                departments and agencies, including agencies 
                within the Administration, to pay for and add 
                to grants made and contracts entered into by 
                the Secretary; and
                  (G) promulgate such rules and regulations as 
                may be necessary and appropriate.
  (d) Director of the National Sea Grant College Program.--
          (1) The Secretary shall appoint, as the Director of 
        the National Sea Grant College Program, a qualified 
        individual who has appropriate administrative 
        experience and knowledge or expertise in fields related 
        to ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources. The 
        Director shall be appointed and compensated, without 
        regard to the provisions of title 5, United States 
        Code, governing appointments in the competitive 
        service, at a rate payable under section 5376 of title 
        5, United States Code.
          (2) Subject to the supervision of the Secretary, the 
        Director shall administer the national sea grant 
        college program and oversee the operation of the 
        national sea grant office. In addition to any other 
        duty prescribed by law or assigned by the Secretary, 
        the Director shall--
                  (A) facilitate and coordinate the development 
                of a long-range strategic plan under subsection 
                (c)(1);
                  (B) advise the Secretary with respect to the 
                expertise and capabilities which are available 
                within or through the national sea grant 
                college program and encourage the use of such 
                expertise and capabilities, on a cooperative or 
                other basis, by other offices and activities 
                within the Administration, and other Federal 
                departments and agencies;
                  (C) advise the Secretary on the designation 
                of sea grant colleges and sea grant institutes, 
                and, if appropriate, on the termination or 
                suspension of any such designation; and
                  (D) encourage the establishment and growth of 
                sea grant programs, and cooperation and 
                coordination with other Federal activities in 
                fields related to ocean, coastal, and Great 
                Lakes resources.
          (3) With respect to sea grant colleges and sea grant 
        institutes, the Director shall--
                  (A) evaluate the programs of sea grant 
                colleges and sea grant institutes, using the 
                priorities, guidelines, and qualifications 
                established by the Secretary;
                  (B) subject to the availability of 
                appropriations, allocate funding among sea 
                grant colleges and sea grant institutes so as 
                to--
                          (i) promote healthy competition among 
                        sea grant colleges and institutes;
                          (ii) encourage successful 
                        implementation of sea grant programs; 
                        [and]
                          (iii) to the maximum extent 
                        consistent with other provisions of 
                        this Act, provide a stable base of 
                        funding for sea grant colleges and 
                        institutes; and
                          (iv) encourage and promote 
                        coordination and cooperation between 
                        the research, education, and outreach 
                        programs of the Administration and 
                        those of academic institutions; and
                  (C) ensure compliance with the guidelines for 
                merit review under subsection (c)(2).

SEC. 208. FELLOWSHIPS.

                            [33 U.S.C. 1127]

  (a) In general.--To carry out the educational and training 
objectives of this Act, the Secretary shall support a program 
of fellowships for qualified individuals at the graduate and 
postgraduate level. The fellowships shall be related to ocean, 
coastal, and Great Lakes resources and awarded pursuant to 
guidelines established by the Secretary. The Secretary shall 
strive to ensure equal access for minority and economically 
disadvantaged students to the program carried out under this 
subsection.
  (b) Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship.--The 
Secretary may award marine policy fellowships to support the 
placement of individuals at the graduate level of education in 
fields related to ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources in 
positions with the executive and legislative branches of the 
United States Government. A fellowship awarded under this 
subsection shall be for a period of not more than 1 year.
  (c) Postdoctoral fellowships.--The Secretary shall establish 
and administer a program of postdoctoral fellowships to 
accelerate research in critical subject areas. The fellowship 
awards--
          (1) shall be for 2 years;
          (2) may be renewed once for not more than 2 years;
          (3) shall be awarded on a nationally competitive 
        basis;
          (4) may be used at any institution of post-secondary 
        education involved in the national sea grant college 
        program;
          (5) shall be for up to 100 percent of the total cost 
        of the fellowship; and
          (6) may be made to recipients of terminal 
        professional degrees, as well as doctoral degree 
        recipients.

SEC. 209. SEA GRANT REVIEW PANEL.

                            [33 U.S.C. 1128]

  (a) Establishment; commencement date.--There shall be 
established an independent committee to be known as the sea 
grant review panel.
  (b) Duties.--The panel shall advise the Secretary and the 
Director concerning--
          (1) applications or proposals for, and performance 
        under, grants and contracts awarded under section 205;
          (2) the sea grant fellowship program;
          (3) the designation and operation of sea grant 
        colleges and sea grant institutes, and the operation of 
        sea grant programs;
          (4) the formulation and application of the planning 
        guidelines and priorities under section 204(a) and 
        (c)(1); and
          (5) such other matters as the Secretary refers to the 
        panel for review and advice. The Secretary shall make 
        available to the panel such information, personnel, and 
        administrative services and assistance as it may 
        reasonably require to carry out its duties.
  (c) Membership, terms, and powers.--
          (1) The panel shall consist of 15 voting members who 
        shall be appointed by the Secretary. The Director and a 
        director of a sea grant program who is elected by the 
        various directors of sea grant programs shall serve as 
        nonvoting members of the panel. Not less than 8 of the 
        voting members of the panel shall be individuals who, 
        by reason of knowledge, experience, or training, are 
        especially qualified in one or more of the disciplines 
        and fields included in marine science. The other voting 
        members shall be individuals who, by reason of 
        knowledge, experience, or training, are especially 
        qualified in, or representative of, education, marine 
        affairs and resource management, extension services, 
        State government, industry, economics, planning, or any 
        other activity which is appropriate to, and important 
        for, any effort to enhance the understanding, 
        assessment, development, utilization, or conservation 
        of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources. No 
        individual is eligible to be a voting member of the 
        panel if the individual is (A) the director of a sea grant 
        college or sea grant institute; (B) an applicant for, or 
        beneficiary (as determined by the Secretary) of, any grant or 
        contract under section 205; or (C) a full-time officer or 
        employee of the United States.
          (2) [The term of office of a voting member of the 
        panel shall be 3 years, except that of the original 
        appointees, five shall be appointed for a term of 1 
        year, five shall be appointed for a term of 2 years, 
        and five shall be appointed for a term of 3 years.] The 
        term of office of a voting member of the panel shall be 
        3 years for a member appointed before the date of 
        enactment of the National Sea Grant College Program Act 
        Amendments of 2002, and 4 years for a member appointed 
        or reappointed after the date of enactment of the 
        National Sea Grant College Program Act Amendments of 
        2002. The Director may extend the term of office of a 
        voting member of the panel appointed before the date of 
        enactment of the National Sea Grant College Program Act 
        Amendments of 2002 by up to 1 year. At least once each 
        year, the Secretary shall publish a notice in the 
        Federal Register soliciting nominations for membership 
        on the panel.
          (3) Any individual appointed to a partial or full 
        term may be reappointed for one additional full term. A 
        voting member may serve after the date of the 
        expiration of the term of office for which appointed 
        until his or her successor has taken office.
          (4) The panel shall select one voting member to serve 
        as the Chairman and another voting member to serve as 
        the Vice Chairman. The Vice Chairman shall act as 
        Chairman in the absence or incapacity of the Chairman.
          (5) Voting members of the panel shall--
                  (A) receive compensation at a rate 
                established by the Secretary, not to exceed the 
                maximum daily rate payable under section 5376 
                of title 5, United States Code, when actually 
                engaged in the performance of duties for such 
                panel; and
                  (B) be reimbursed for actual and reasonable 
                expenses incurred in the performance of such 
                duties.
          (6) The panel shall meet on a biannual basis and, at 
        any other time, at the call of the Chairman or upon the 
        request of a majority of the voting members or of the 
        Director.
          (7) The panel may exercise such powers as are 
        reasonably necessary in order to carry out its duties 
        under subsection (b).

SEC. 212. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

                            [33 U.S.C. 1131]

  [(a) Authorization.--
          [(1) In general.--There is authorized to be 
        appropriated to carry out this Act--
                  [(A) $56,000,000 for fiscal year 1999;
                  [(B) $57,000,000 for fiscal year 2000;
                  [(C) $58,000,000 for fiscal year 2001;
                  [(D) $59,000,000 for fiscal year 2002; and
                  [(E) $60,000,000 for fiscal year 2003.
          [(2) Zebra mussel and oyster research.--In addition 
        to the amount authorized for each fiscal year under 
        paragraph (1)--
                  [(A) up to $2,800,000 may be made available 
                as provided in section 1301(b)(4)(A) of the 
                Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and 
                Control Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 4741(b)(4)(A)) 
                for competitive grants for university research 
                on the zebra mussel;
                  [(B) up to $3,000,000 may be made available 
                for competitive grants for university research 
                on oyster diseases and oyster-related human 
                health risks; and
                  [(C) up to $3,000,000 may be made available 
                for competitive grants for university research 
                on Pfiesteria piscicida and other harmful algal 
                blooms.]
  (a) Authorization.--
          (1) In general.--There are authorized to be 
        appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this title--
                  (A) $75,000,000 for fiscal year 2004;
                  (B) $77,500,000 for fiscal year 2005;
                  (C) $80,000,000 for fiscal year 2006;
                  (D) $82,500,000 for fiscal year 2007; and
                  (E) $85,000,000 for fiscal year 2008.
          (2) Priority research.--In addition to the amount 
        authorized under paragraph (1), there are authorized to 
        be appropriated for each of fiscal years 2004 through 
        2008--
                  (A) $5,000,000 for competitive grants for 
                university research on biology and control of 
                zebra mussels and other important non-native 
                species as identified in section 1301(b)(4)(A) 
                of the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance 
                Prevention and Control Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 
                4171(b)(4)(A));
                  (B) $5,000,000 for competitive grants for 
                university research on oyster diseases, oyster 
                restoration, and oyster-related human health 
                risks;
                  (C) $5,000,000 for competitive grants for 
                university research on the biology, prevention, 
                and forecasting of harmful algal blooms, 
                including Pfiesteria piscicida; and
                  (D) $3,000,000 for competitive grants for 
                research contributing to the fisheries 
                extension program to enhance, not supplant, 
                existing core program funding.
  [(b) Program elements.--
          [(1) Limitation.--No more than 5 percent of the 
        lesser of--
                  [(A) the amount authorized to be 
                appropriated; or
                  [(B) the amount appropriated, for each fiscal 
                year under subsection (a) may be used to fund 
                the program element contained in section 
                204(b)(2).
          [(2) Sums appropriated under the authority of 
        subsections (a) and (c) shall not be available for 
        administration of this Act by the National Sea Grant 
        Office, or for Administration program or administrative 
        expenses.]
  (b) Limitations.--
          (1) Administration.--There may not be used for 
        administration of programs under this title in a fiscal 
        year more than 5 percent of the lesser of--
                  (A) the amount authorized to be appropriated 
                under this title for the fiscal year; or
                  (B) the amount appropriated under this title 
                for the fiscal year.
          (2) Use for other offices or programs.--Sums 
        appropriated under the authority of subsection (a)(2) 
        shall not be available for administration of this title 
        by the National Sea Grant Office, for any other 
        Administration or department program, or for any other 
        administrative expenses.
  [(c) Priority oyster disease research.--In addition to sums 
authorized under subsection (a), there is authorized to be 
appropriated for priority oyster disease research under section 
205 of this Act, an amount--
          [(1) for fiscal year 1992, not to exceed $1,400,000;
          [(2) for fiscal year 1993, not to exceed $3,000,000;
          [(3) for fiscal year 1994, not to exceed $3,000,000; 
        and
          [(4) for fiscal year 1995, not to exceed $3,000,000.]
  (c) Distribution of Funds.--In any fiscal year in which the 
appropriations made pursuant to subsection (a)(1) exceed the 
amounts appropriated for fiscal year 2003 for the purposes 
described in such subsection, the Secretary shall distribute 
the excess amounts (except amounts used for the administration 
of programs) solely to--
          (1) State sea grant programs on a merit reviewed, 
        competitive basis to support, enhance, and reward 
        programs that are best managed and carry out the 
        highest quality research, education, extension, and 
        training programs; and
          (2) national strategic initiatives.
  (d) Availability of sums.--Sums appropriated pursuant to this 
section shall remain available until expended.
  (e) Reversion of unobligated amounts.--The amount of any 
grant, or portion of a grant, made to a person under any 
section of this Act that is not obligated by that person during 
the first fiscal year for which it was authorized to be 
obligated or during the next fiscal year thereafter shall 
revert to the Secretary. The Secretary shall add that reverted 
amount to the funds available for grants under the section for 
which the reverted amount was originally made available.