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108th Congress 2d Session        SENATE                 Report
                                                       108-407
_______________________________________________________________________

                                                       Calendar No. 799
          

        FRITZ HOLLINGS NATIONAL OCEAN POLICY AND LEADERSHIP ACT

                               ----------                              

                              R E P O R T

                                 OF THE

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                                    on

                                S. 2647



                                     

               November 10, 2004.--Ordered to be printed

 Filed, under authority of the order of the Senate of October 11, 2004





       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                      one hundred eighth congress

                             second session

                     JOHN McCAIN, Arizona, Chairman

TED STEVENS, Alaska                  ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, South Carolina
CONRAD BURNS, Montana                DANIEL K. INOUYE, Hawaii
TRENT LOTT, Mississippi              JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, West 
KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON, Texas          Virginia
OLYMPIA J. SNOWE, Maine              JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts
SAM BROWNBACK, Kansas                JOHN B. BREAUX, Louisiana
GORDON SMITH, Oregon                 BYRON L. DORGAN, North Dakota
PETER G. FITZGERALD, Illinois        RON WYDEN, Oregon
JOHN ENSIGN, Nevada                  BARBARA BOXER, California
GEORGE ALLEN, Virginia               BILL NELSON, Florida
JOHN E. SUNUNU, New Hampshire        MARIA CANTWELL, Washington
                                     FRANK LAUTENBERG, New Jersey

           Jeanne Bumpus, Staff Director and General Counsel
                   Rob Freeman, Deputy Staff Director
      Kevin D. Kayes, Democratic Staff Director and Chief Counsel



                                  (ii)







                                                       Calendar No. 799
108th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     108-407

======================================================================
 
        FRITZ HOLLINGS NATIONAL OCEAN POLICY AND LEADERSHIP ACT

                                _______
                                

               November 10, 2004.--Ordered to be printed

 Filed, under authority of the order of the Senate of October 11, 2004

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 2647]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 2647) ``A Bill To establish a 
national ocean policy, to set forth the missions of the 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to ensure 
effective interagency coordination, and for other purposes'', 
having considered the same, reports favorably thereon with an 
amendment (in the nature of a substitute) and recommends that 
the bill (as amended) do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    S. 2647, as reported, would implement many of the 
governance-related recommendations of the United States 
Commission on Ocean Policy (U.S. Ocean Commission). The bill 
would set forth a national ocean policy to be implemented by 
Federal agencies, establish the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as the lead Federal civilian 
ocean and atmospheric agency, and direct the agency to 
reorganize along functional lines. The bill would also promote 
better cooperation on ocean priorities by establishing 
mechanisms for focused interagency coordination on ocean and 
atmospheric policy and science issues. Finally, the bill would 
call for the President to make recommendations to Congress on 
Federal reorganization and other changes designed to address 
oceanic and atmospheric priorities.

                          Background and Needs

    The legislation responds to many of the structural and 
governance-related recommendations of the Final Report of the 
U.S. Ocean Commission, which was the subject of a Full 
Committee hearing on September 21, 2004. The Commission was 
established pursuant to the Oceans Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-256), 
legislation introduced by Senator Hollings, and cosponsored by 
a number of Committee members, including Senators Stevens, 
Inouye, Kerry, Snowe, Breaux, and Wyden. The bill, supported by 
a broad coalition of interested entities, including coastal 
states, industry groups, conservation groups, and academic 
institutions, was signed into law by President Clinton on 
August 7, 2000.
    The Oceans Act of 2000 directed the President to appoint a 
16-member Ocean Commission, of which 12 members were required 
to be selected from lists of nominees submitted by the Senate 
and House majority and minority leaders, in consultation with 
Chairmen and Ranking Members of key committees, including the 
Senate Commerce Committee. The 16 Commissioners were appointed 
by President Bush on July 3, 2001. The Commission is chaired by 
Admiral James D. Watkins, USN (Ret.). The Commission was 
charged with making recommendations for a coordinated and 
comprehensive national ocean policy that would promote: (1) the 
protection of life and property; (2) stewardship of ocean and 
coastal resources; (3) protection of the marine environment and 
prevention of marine pollution; (4) enhancement of marine 
commerce; (5) expansion of human knowledge of the marine 
environment; (6) investments in technologies to promote energy 
and food security; (7) close cooperation among government 
agencies; and (8) United States leadership in ocean and coastal 
activities globally.
    Since its first meeting in Washington D.C. on September 17, 
2001, the Commission held a total of 15 meetings to hear 
testimony in all regions of the country, including the 
Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska, and the Great Lakes. 
In addition to these regional meetings, the Commission held 
public deliberative meetings in Washington, D.C. to discuss 
policy options and recommendations. The Commission heard from 
more than 400 witnesses, including representatives from Federal 
agencies, States, industry, academic experts, environmental 
organizations, and private citizens. After submitting a 
Preliminary Report to the Governors for comment, the Commission 
released its Final Report (Report) on September 20, 2004. 
Pursuant to the Oceans Act of 2000, the President is required 
to submit a response with recommendations to Congress within 90 
days of receiving the Report.

                   NEED FOR A REVISED NATIONAL POLICY

    The last effort to examine United States ocean policy began 
in 1966, when Congress enacted the Marine Resources and 
Engineering Development Act (1966 Act) in order to define 
national objectives and programs with respect to the oceans. 
The 1966 Act was comprised of three primary elements: (1) a 
declaration of United States policy and objectives with respect 
to marine science activities; (2) establishment of a National 
Council on Marine Resources and Engineering Development; and 
(3) creation of a Presidential commission on marine science, 
engineering, and resources. Dr. Julius A. Stratton, a former 
president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and 
then-chairman of the Ford Foundation, led the commission 
created in the 1966 Act on an unprecedented investigation of 
this Nation's relationship with the oceans.
    The work of the Stratton Commission led directly to the 
creation of NOAA in 1970. While the Commission called for the 
centralization of Federal civilian ocean efforts within a 
single new independent agency, a compromise was achieved, and 
NOAA was created from combining a number of entities within the 
Department of Commerce by Reorganization Plan Number 4 of 1970 
and Executive Order 11564. The Stratton Commission report also 
laid the groundwork for enactment of the Coastal Zone 
Management Act (CZMA) in 1972 as well as the Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act in 1976, and it established 
priorities for Federal ocean activities that have guided this 
Nation for almost thirty years.
    The Commission's Final Report recognized a number of 
substantial changes since 1966 that argue strongly for a new 
approach to Federal ocean and atmospheric policy, as well as 
the need for a fundamentally improved Federal structure that 
will provide the increased attention and coordination needed to 
address new challenges.
    First, along with the growth of ocean-related activities in 
the past thirty years, the United States legal and bureaucratic 
framework related to the oceans has become increasingly 
complex. In 1966, neither NOAA nor the Environmental Protection 
Agency (EPA) existed. A number of laws with major impacts on 
the conduct of ocean and coastal activities had yet to be 
enacted, including the CZMA, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act, the Marine Mammal Protection 
Act, the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, the Oil Pollution 
Act, and the Endangered Species Act. More than half of the 
fifteen Federal departments now have programs that relate to 
the oceans and coasts. In addition to the creation of these 
Federal agencies and programs, States have become more actively 
involved in ocean and coastal policy issues.
    Second, coastal areas, which generate over half of the 
gross domestic product ($4.5 trillion in 2000), are subject to 
increasing use for commerce, recreation, and development, 
activities addressed by a variety of State and Federal 
programs. By the year 2025, it is estimated that approximately 
75 percent of Americans will live in coastal areas, putting 
more people at risk from natural hazards, fragmenting wildlife 
habitat, and contributing to coastal pollution. In addition, 
Federal waters that already support marine commerce, fishing, 
and offshore oil and gas development are becoming increasingly 
attractive for a host of new enterprises, ranging from offshore 
aquaculture to wind energy development, which is leading to 
regulatory confusion, user group conflicts, lost development 
opportunities, and environmental threats.
    Third, there is a consensus that living ocean and coastal 
resources once considered boundless have limits, and many 
marine and coastal habitats are threatened by pollution and a 
wide variety of human activities in both coastal and inland 
areas. Of the United States' 267 major fish stocks (which 
supply 99 percent of commercial landings), nearly 20 percent 
are overfished or experiencing overfishing. Half of the 
Nation's fresh and saltwater wetlands have disappeared, and in 
some local cases, nearly all have disappeared. As the intensity 
of the use of the marine environment grows, the lack of 
effective governance has become a critical problem requiring a 
re-evaluation of national priorities and consideration of new 
and innovative approaches.
    Fourth, environmental threats to the oceans have grown 
increasingly complex. Problems that scientists know little 
about continue to emerge, and they require coordinated 
assessment, strategies, and responses. In the past 30 years, 
occurrences of harmful algal blooms have increased in frequency 
and intensity across a wider geographic range, costing the 
United States $49 million per year in fisheries closures and 
losses in recreation and tourism. Various marine toxins afflict 
more than 90,000 people per year and account for 62 percent of 
all seafood-related illnesses. In 2003, 18,000 days of beach 
closures were ordered due to the presence of bacteria 
associated with human waste from local sewage treatment plants.
    In addition, recent technological discoveries offer 
important new economic and scientific opportunities that bridge 
traditional jurisdictional boundaries. Currently, 95 percent of 
the world's ocean area remains unexplored, leaving a large 
portion of the ocean's potential resources unused or unknown. 
For example, scientists have made conservative estimates that 
the amount of carbon in frozen gas hydrates on the seafloor is 
twice the amount of carbon existing in all other known fossil 
fuels on Earth. Although no one can predict what exploration 
will yield, past exploration and research has led to 
discoveries that have changed our lives fundamentally and 
provided information critical to sustainable management of our 
living marine resources.
    Finally, there is a need to increase our understanding of 
the ocean environment to develop coordinated national 
strategies to reduce the costs of natural hazards. Since 1989, 
at least 14 storms have resulted in losses exceeding $1 
billion; no storm before 1989 had ever resulted in economic 
losses this large. Coastal erosion caused by sea level rise, 
storms, and tsunamis account for the loss of 1,500 homes each 
year, and over the next several decades, the average cost per 
year for coastal property is expected to be $530 million. While 
there have been notable advances in early warning and 
evacuation systems to protect human lives, the risk of property 
loss continues to escalate and coastal communities are more 
vulnerable to major storms than ever before.

     NEED FOR STRENGTHENING NOAA AND IMPROVING FEDERAL COORDINATION

    The 1970 Federal reorganization of ocean agencies that 
created NOAA in the Department of Commerce, authorized by 
Reorganization Plan Number 4, consolidated nine programs from 
five departments, adding them to the Department of Commerce's 
Environmental Sciences Services Administration (ESSA), which 
already included the Coast and Geodetic Survey and Weather 
Bureau from a 1965 reorganization. Programs added to ESSA at 
that time included the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries and 
elements of the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife (from 
the Department of Interior), the National Oceanographic Data 
Center (from the Department of the Navy), the National Data 
Buoy Project (from the Department of Transportation), and the 
Sea Grant program (from the National Science Foundation). The 
Plan set forth a broad outline of the agency's organization, 
transferred authorities, and generic responsibilities, most of 
which relate to research and technical duties previously held 
by the component agencies.
    In succeeding years, new legislation has expanded NOAA's 
responsibilities to include conservation and management, 
including the Coastal Zone Management Act, the Magnuson- 
Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the National 
Marine Sanctuaries Act, and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. 
In addition to Reorganization Plan No. 4, the current scope of 
the agency's missions are defined primarily through a variety 
of existing legislative mandates or authorizations. One 
component of NOAA, the National Weather Service, operates under 
its own organic act, which was enacted in 1890. However, no 
single law sets forth a comprehensive expression of NOAA's 
mission, organization, and basic policies and powers. By 
contrast, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the 
United States Forest Service, and the United States Coast 
Guard, all operate under comprehensive ``organic Acts''.
    NOAA's budget has grown as it has been given new 
responsibilities. In 1970, NOAA was funded at $250 million, but 
its budget has grown substantially to $3.7 billion in FY2004, 
which represents approximately 62 percent of the Department of 
Commerce budget. Led by an Administrator (who also holds the 
title of Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere) 
and a Deputy Administrator (Assistant Secretary of Commerce for 
Oceans and Atmosphere), NOAA is structured around six line 
offices: (1) the National Ocean Service (NOS); (2) the National 
Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS); (3) the National Weather 
Service (NWS); (4) the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Research (OAR); (5) the National Environmental Satellite Data 
and Information Service (NESDIS); and (6) the Office of Program 
Planning and Integration (PPI). Also within NOAA is an Office 
of Marine Aviation and Operations (OMAO), which manages the 
NOAA uniformed officer corps (NOAA Corps), one of the Nation's 
uniformed services which supports all other line office 
functions.
    NOAA's many achievements since 1970 have come despite 
significant programmatic and functional overlaps or disconnects 
among the current line offices. Contributing to these problems 
is that the agency now operates or is affected by over 180 
Federal statutes, none of which sets forth a comprehensive NOAA 
organizational framework. These statutory authorities are 
widely dispersed throughout many acts, each one addressing 
separate functions in isolation from other functions. There is 
a clear need to further define and specify NOAA's lead role in 
ocean and atmospheric policy, and strengthen, reorganize, and 
expand the agency to meet emerging national priorities. The 
Committee believes that an organic act for NOAA is needed to 
comprehensively codify NOAA's current activities, set forth its 
core missions, fill gaps in program authorities, and outline 
long-term priorities for the agency. The Committee also 
recognizes the need for better integration of agency activities 
to enhance the agency's ability to meet NOAA missions and 
provide necessary services to the Nation.
    In addition, there is a need to evaluate whether the 
Federal government as a whole is appropriately organized to 
meet new challenges and priorities. Many experts have pointed 
to the need to provide NOAA independence, particularly with 
respect to budget, scientific, and administrative matters. The 
Committee heard such recommendations from former administrators 
of NOAA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration 
(NASA), and the National Science Foundation (NSF), who pointed 
to these independent agencies as a model for NOAA to follow in 
order to secure budget growth, increase visibility, and improve 
accountability. Others suggest that, in the short term, 
providing budgetary and administrative independence within a 
cabinet-level agency may provide both high level attention and 
a basis for increased funding.
    In the long run, there is also a need to consider further 
realignment and reorganization of Federal ocean and atmospheric 
programs to ensure better coordination, improve effectiveness, 
and reduce duplication of effort. Up to 15 Federal departments 
or agencies have ocean and coastal responsibilities. It will be 
necessary to improve coordination and organization of Federal 
ocean and atmospheric agencies and programs, including 
consolidation and transfer of programs. Some believe such a 
reorganization would be facilitated through the establishment 
of an independent NOAA first. Others believe that the growth 
and consolidation of programs at NOAA should occur before a 
decision on NOAA independence or elevation of the agency to 
Departmental status. The Committee believes it is imperative to 
strengthen NOAA, establish effective interagency coordinating 
mechanisms, and set forth a plan and schedule for further 
Federal reorganization and coordination.

          GOVERNANCE RECOMMENDATIONS OF U.S. OCEAN COMMISSION

    The Ocean Commission's work builds upon the legislative and 
policy framework established in response to the Stratton 
Commission, but it also takes a comprehensive review of the 
developments that have occurred since and recommends changes 
that may be needed to ensure that the Nation is following a 
coherent plan for our ocean future. The Report presents a 
series of recommendations that relate to Federal ocean 
priorities, coordination, and organization, including 
recommendations concerning NOAA.
    First, the Report sets forth a series of important 
overarching principles that should be employed to guide ocean 
policy decision-making now and into the future:
           Sustainability
           Stewardship (public trust)
           Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Connection
           Ecosystem-Based Management (including 
        adoption of a precautionary approach)
           Multiple Use Management
           Preservation of Marine Biodiversity 
        (including genetic and ecosystem diversity)
           Best Available Science and Information
           Adaptive Management
           Understandable Law and Clear Decisions
           Participatory Governance
           Timeliness
           Accountability
           International Responsibility
    Many of these principles are reinforced in specific 
recommendations, particularly the concept of ecosystem-based 
management, which forms the backbone of the regionally-oriented 
science and management philosophy of the Report.
    The Report also makes several recommendations intended to 
strengthen and coordinate Federal ocean and coastal decision-
making, which currently suffers from lack of Federal leadership 
and coordination. These include:
    National Coordination. The Commission recommended that the 
President, followed by Congress, should establish a Secretary-
level multi-agency National Ocean Council (NOC), with 
subsidiary committees (e.g., science and education, management, 
international), as well as a non- Federal Presidential Council 
of Advisors on Ocean Policy (PCAOP). An Assistant to the 
President for Ocean Policy should be appointed to chair both 
the NOC and the PCAOP, and be supported by a new White House 
Office of Ocean Policy. Strengthened Federal Agency Structure. 
The Commission, recognizing that NOAA has become the lead 
Federal agency for oceans issues, strongly recommended that 
Congress strengthen NOAA in a three-phase process, stating that 
immediate strengthening of the agency's ability to fulfill its 
missions is critical.
    Phase I, which the Commission recommends implementing 
immediately, is enactment of an organic act for the agency. The 
Commission recommended structuring NOAA around three mission 
areas in an organic act, consistent with the principle of 
ecosystem-based management and focuses on three functions: (1) 
assessment, predictions, and operations; (2) resource 
management; and (3) research and education. The Commission did 
not specify whether the current offices should be 
disestablished or whether they should be managed around cross-
cutting missions, but it stated that improved interaction 
within these categories is needed so that NOAA's functions 
(e.g., science and management) complement and support each 
other.
    In addition, the Report pointed to the need for budget 
support for the agency. The Commission stated that NOAA's 
placement within the Department of Commerce not only 
contributed to lack of visibility of the agency, but has 
definite budgetary implications as the agency seeks increases. 
In particular, the Report notes that because NOAA program 
budgets are evaluated, with other Commerce programs, by the 
General Government Programs directorate of the Office of 
Management and Budget, they are reviewed by examiners without 
specialized expertise that is relevant to NOAA programs. In 
addition, such placement precludes NOAA program budgets from 
being examined from an ecosystem perspective alongside other 
science and resource programs in the Federal government. Such a 
view is corroborated by testimony before the Committee, in 
which at least one witness stated that Congress, rather than 
the executive branch, has driven NOAA budget increases over 
time.
    Phase II, which would occur during the next few years, is 
the consolidation of certain ocean- and coastal-related 
functions in other agencies, including movement into NOAA. The 
Commission noted that during the 1970 reorganization many 
programs that arguably should have become part of NOAA were 
left in other departments. As a result, programs have 
proliferated and in some cases the number of agencies 
addressing a similar issue causes fragmentation that diffuses 
responsibility, introduces unnecessary overlap, raises 
administrative costs, and interferes with the development of a 
comprehensive management regime. The Report suggested 
considering consolidation of programs found in the following 
agencies: the Department of Interior, Environmental Protection 
Agency, the Directorate of Civil Works in the United States 
Army Corps of Engineers, and NASA. Categories for such 
consolidation include programs relating to: area-based ocean 
and coastal management; nonpoint source pollution; vessel 
pollution; invasive species; marine mammals; aquaculture; and 
satellite earth observing operations.
    Phase III, a long-term action, would be to undertake a 
Federal reorganization of ocean and environmental programs and 
activities into a larger Department that recognizes the 
inextricable links among the sea, land, air, and living things. 
With its coastal zone, ocean, and atmospheric programs, NOAA 
possesses many capabilities for understanding and addressing 
these aspects of the natural environment. One option suggested 
by the Commission for a Phase III reorganization is 
consolidation of all natural resource functions, including 
those applicable to oceans and coastal, in one agency thus 
equipped to conduct an ecosystem-based management regime. 
However, as the Commission Report notes, at least 11 such 
proposals have failed due to the complexity of such a large-
scale reorganization; none has been made since 1969.

                         Summary of Provisions

    S. 2647, as reported, would create an organic act for NOAA 
and establish the agency in statute. In addition, the bill 
would set a national policy for U.S. oceanic and atmospheric 
activities. The bill also would establish coordinating and 
advisory bodies within the Executive Branch to improve the 
implementation of federal government activities in these areas.
    The bill would establish NOAA in statute as a successor to 
the agency that was created in Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 
1970. This new NOAA would perform the following three 
functions:
           Management, conservation, protection, and 
        restoration of ocean resources, including living marine 
        resources, habitats and ocean ecosystems;
           Observation, monitoring, assessment, 
        forecasting, prediction, operations and exploration for 
        ocean and atmospheric environments including weather, 
        climate, navigation and marine resources; and
           Research, education and outreach, technical 
        assistance, technology development, and innovation 
        activities relating to ocean and atmospheric 
        environments including basic and applied scientific 
        research and activities that support other agency 
        functions and missions.
    In addition, S. 2647, as reported, would establish the 
following positions: (1) NOAA Administrator; (2) the Deputy 
Administrator; (3) the Chief Financial Officer; (4) three 
Associate Administrators to be responsible for each of the 
three main functions of the agency; (5) an unspecified number 
of Assistant Administrators; and (6) the General Counsel. The 
bill also would retain the role of the NOAA Corps as currently 
defined in Reorganization Plan No. 4. The bill would give the 
Administrator the authority to cooperate with the Secretary of 
State on international issues, and work in coordination with 
state programs to ensure cooperation in programmatic and 
enforcement issues.
    Building on the recommendations of the Commission and 
testimony presented at the hearing, the bill as reported also 
strengthens the agency. First, it provides NOAA with more 
budgetary and administrative autonomy over its programs and 
activities, much as Congress has provided to the Federal 
Aviation Administration (FAA) and other entities. Second, the 
bill directs the NOAA Administrator to submit budgets directly 
to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), specifying that 
OMB's natural resource program experts are to review the 
submission. Third, as reported, the bill also provides the NOAA 
Administrator the same Federal status and executive 
compensation levels as the NASA Administrator, which is 
intended to reflect the increasing importance of ocean and 
atmospheric matters to the long-term economic, environmental, 
and scientific security of the Nation. In addition, the NOAA 
Administrator would be appointed by the President for 5-year 
terms, increasing his or her independence and ensuring 
continuity of service during political transitions. Such an 
arrangement also exists with respect to other Federal 
scientific and technical agencies, including the FAA and NSF.
    The bill, as reported, would require the Administrator to 
submit a plan and budget to Congress within 9 months of 
enactment of the Act to reorganize the agency and its programs. 
In developing the plan and budget, the Administrator should 
fully consider the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy's 
recommendations, and how to provide improved service to the 
nation. In addition, the Administrator would be required to 
develop a 20-year integrated research plan for NOAA that would 
set forth the agency's scientific goals and priorities. The 
report would articulate goals, priorities, and programmatic 
actions for the agency in 5-year phases, and be revised every 
5-to-7 years. In addition, the legislation would require the 
Administrator, in consultation with relevant federal and state 
agencies, to submit to Congress not later that 12 months after 
the date of enactment a biennial report on the status of the 
nation's ocean and atmospheric environments; trends in the 
quality, management, and utilization of such environments; and 
the effects of these trends on the nation.
    The legislation would establish a Science Advisory Board 
within NOAA to advise the Administrator and Congress on long-
range and short-range strategies for research, education, and 
the application of science to resource management and 
environmental assessment and prediction. The panel would 
consists of not more that 15 members appointed by the 
Administrator, who would serve 3-year terms.
    The bill, as reported, would increase interagency 
coordination by establishing a Council on Ocean Stewardship 
within Executive Office. The Council would be composed of 
between 3 and 5 members that were appointed by the President 
and Senate-confirmed. The bill would direct the Council to 
perform a variety of functions, including providing a forum for 
improving Federal interagency planning, budget and program 
coordination, administration, outreach and cooperation; gather 
information and analyze the conditions and trends in the 
quality of the ocean and atmosphere; review the effectiveness 
of federal programs and activities; identify statutory and 
regulatory redundancies and omissions and develop strategies to 
resolve conflicts; develop and issue recommendations and 
guidance for establishing recommendations for establishing 
mechanisms to assure the coordination of Federal programs with 
state and regional programs; expand research, education, and 
outreach efforts by Federal agencies; and conduct an annual 
review and analysis of funding proposed for ocean and 
atmospheric research and management in all Federal agency 
budgets, and provide budget recommendations to the President, 
the agencies, and OMB.
    The President, through the Council, would be required to 
submit to Congress a biennial report on Federal ocean and 
atmospheric programs, priorities, and accomplishments. The 
report would be due not later than 18 months after the date of 
enactment of this Act. The bill would authorize the Council 
from Fiscal Year (FY) 2005 through FY 2010.
    In addition, the legislation would authorize the President 
to establish a Presidential Panel of Advisers on Oceans, 
Atmosphere, and Climate Change. The panel would consist of not 
more than 25 members, including the Chair of the Council on 
Ocean Stewardship, and members would serve 3-year terms. The 
Panel would advise and assist the President and the Chairman of 
the Ocean Stewardship Council in identifying and fostering 
policies to protect, manage, and restore ocean and atmospheric 
environments and resources; review priority issues relating to 
national ocean and atmospheric policy (including climate 
change), conservation and management of ocean environments and 
resources, and the status of the ocean and atmospheric science 
and service programs.
    Furthermore, S. 2647, as reported, would further increase 
Federal coordination by directing the Chair of the National 
Science and Technology Council (NSTC), in consultation with the 
Chair of the Council on Ocean Stewardship, to establish a 
National Ocean Science Committee. The Committee would be 
composed of 18 members, including the leadership of the 
nation's oceanic, atmospheric, and scientific research 
agencies. The Committee would serve as the primary source of 
advice and support on ocean science for the NSTC and Council on 
Ocean Stewardship; serve as the committee on ocean science for 
the NSTC; improve cooperation among federal departments and 
agencies with respect to ocean science budgets, programs, 
operations, facilities, and personnel; provide a forum for 
development of the strategy and oversee its implementation; 
suggest policies and procedures for interagency science 
programs; oversee the implementation of an integrated and 
sustained ocean and coastal observing system; establish 
interagency subcommittees and working groups to develop 
comprehensive and balanced federal programs and approaches to 
ocean science needs; coordinate U.S. government activities with 
other nations and international efforts; and carry out other 
activities. The Chair of the NSTC is required to develop a 
National Strategy for Ocean Science, Education and Technology 
through the National Ocean Science Committee, and submit it to 
Congress within one year after the date of enactment, and once 
every three years thereafter.
    Finally, the bill, as reported, would require the 
President, in consultation with the Administrator and the 
Council on Ocean Stewardship to submit to Congress 
recommendations on, and a plan and proposed schedule for the 
transfer of relevant programs, functions, services, and 
associated resources to NOAA; consolidation or elimination of 
oceanic or atmospheric programs, functions, services, or 
resources; and reorganization that would provide increased 
national attention and resources to oceanic and atmospheric 
needs and priorities and promote an integrated ecosystem and 
watershed-based approach. The report would have to be submitted 
not later than 2 years after issuance of the final report of 
the Commission on Ocean Policy.

                          Legislative History

    The National Ocean Policy and Leadership Act was introduced 
on July 13, 2004 by Senators Hollings, Stevens, Inouye, and 
Gregg. On September 22, 2004, the Committee on Commerce, 
Science, and Transportation approved the bill as amended by a 
substitute sponsored by Senators Hollings, McCain, Stevens, 
Inouye, Snowe, Breaux, Lautenberg, and Boxer. The Committee 
also approved an amendment offered by Senator Breaux renaming 
the bill the ``Fritz Hollings National Ocean Policy and 
Leadership Act''.

                            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:
S. 2647--Fritz Hollings National Ocean Policy and Leadership Act
    Summary: S. 2647 would establish a National Oceanic Science 
Committee to consist of representatives from a number of 
Federal agencies, including the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Department of the Navy, 
the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National 
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The new committee 
would be charged with developing a comprehensive strategy on 
ocean science, education, and technology. In addition, the bill 
would designate NOAA as the lead Federal agency on ocean and 
atmospheric issues and would provide statutory authority for 
the agency, which was created administratively in 1970.
    Assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts, CBO 
estimates that implementing S. 2647 would cost $285 million in 
fiscal year 2005 and about $4 billion over the 2005-2009 
period. We estimate that about $1 billion a year would be spent 
after 2009 for ongoing efforts to implement the national 
strategy on oceans. Enacting S. 2647 would have no impact on 
revenues or direct spending.
    S. 2647 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. 2647 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget functions 050 
(national defense), 250 (general science, space, and 
technology), and 300 (natural resources and environment).

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      By fiscal year, in millions of
                                                 dollars--
                                 ---------------------------------------
                                   2005    2006    2007    2008    2009
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ocean Research:
    Estimated Authorization          200     300     400     500     650
     Level......................
    Estimated Outlays...........     130     240     340     450     580
Ocean Exploration:
    Estimated Authorization           30      60      90     100     110
     Level......................
    Estimated Outlays...........      20      40      70      90     100
Education, Technology, and Data
 Management:
    Estimated Authorization           40     200     200     200     200
     Level......................
    Estimated Outlays...........      20     140     180     190     200
Vessel Acquisition and Other
 Infrastructure Costs:
    Estimated Authorization          280     280     280     280     280
     Level......................
    Estimated Outlays...........     110     220     270     280     280
Total-National Strategy for
 Ocean Science, Education, and
 Technology:
    Estimated Authorization          550     840     970   1,080   1,240
     Level......................
    Estimated Outlays...........     280     640     860   1,010   1,160
Council on Ocean Stewardship:
    Estimated Authorization            4       4       4       4       5
     Level......................
    Estimated Outlays...........       2       3       4       4       4
NOAA Commissioned Corps:
    Estimated Authorization            4       5       7       7       7
     Level......................
    Estimated Outlays...........       3       5       6       7       8
Total Spending Under S. 2647:
    Estimated Authorization          558     849     981   1,091   1,252
     Level......................
    Estimated Outlays...........     285     648     870   1,021   1,172
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of Estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that S. 
2647 will be enacted by the end of calendar year 2004, and that 
amounts specified by the bill and estimated to be necessary 
will be appropriated for each fiscal year. Outlays are 
estimated on the basis of historical patterns for similar 
programs carried out by NOAA and other Federal agencies 
involved in ocean science.
    The estimate is based on information provided by NOAA, the 
Commission on Ocean Policy, and other Federal agencies.
Nation Strategy for Ocean Science, Education, and Technology
    S. 2647 would direct a multiagency committee to develop a 
national strategy on ocean science, education, and technology. 
It would require the new strategy to incorporate the 
recommendations of the Commission on Ocean Policy as presented 
in its recent report ``An Ocean Blueprint for the 21st 
Century.'' \1\ The strategy would include plans for increasing 
Federal spending for ocean exploration, technology development, 
and education and outreach, as well as for a doubling of 
Federal spending for ocean research over 5 years. CBO estimates 
that implementing the bill in accordance with the commission's 
recommendations would require the appropriation of $550 million 
in 2005 and nearly $4.7 billion over the 2005-2009 period. Most 
of those amounts--$200 million in 2005, rising to $650 million 
annually--would be used to double the ocean research budgets of 
agencies such as NOAA, the NSF, and NASA. That sum also 
includes also includes $30 million in 2005 and $390 million 
over the 2005-2009 period that would be needed for new ocean 
exploration efforts to be carried out primarily by NOAA. 
Another $40 million in 2005 and $840 million over the 2005-2009 
period would be needed for education and outreach, technology 
development, and data management. Finally, we estimated that 
about $1.4 billion would be needed to acquire vessels an other 
equipment to support those activities. Assuming that such 
acquisitions would be made over a 5-year period, CBO estimates 
that NOAA and other agencies would need a total of $280 million 
annually through 2009 for that purpose.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, An Ocean Blueprint for the 
21st Century (July 22, 2004), pp. G2-G12.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Council on Ocean Stewardship
    Section 301 would establish the Council on Ocean 
Stewardship to help coordinate interagency planning, budgeting, 
public outreach and education, and other activities to protect 
oceans. For this purpose, the bill would authorize the 
appropriation of between $4 million and $5 million for each of 
fiscal years 2005 through 2010.
NOAA Commissioned Corps
    Section 203 would raise the number of members in the NOAA 
Commissioned Officers Corps from the current maximum of 299 to 
a minimum of 250. CBO estimates that funding the additional 
positions would require additional appropriations of $4 million 
in 2005 and $30 million over the 2005-2009 period.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: S. 2647 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Deborah Reis; Impact 
on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Gregory Waring; and 
Impact on the Private Sector: Karen Raupp.
    Estimate approved by: Robert A. Sunshine, 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:

                       NUMBER OF PERSONS COVERED

    Most of the authorities that this Act would grant are 
currently held and exercised by the NOAA Administrator and 
would continue in force upon its enactment; therefore, the 
Committee does not expect that the authorities contained in 
this Act would subject those individuals or businesses that 
engage in activities related to conservation, management, or 
use of the oceans or atmosphere to new regulations.
    Title II of this bill would grant certain authorities to 
the NOAA Administrator, including authorities vested in NOAA or 
the Secretary with respect to NOAA in effect immediately prior 
to enactment. In addition, the NOAA Administrator would have 
authority to: promulgate all necessary regulations to implement 
Title II; enforce the applicable provisions of any Act; enter 
into partnerships with academia, industry, conservation groups, 
educators, and other interested parties to improve the 
effectiveness of NOAA programs and activities; disseminate 
information and educate the public about oceans and atmosphere; 
enter into contracts and grants; receive bequests or donations; 
utilize or acquire the services of Federal, State, or local 
agencies; and construct facilities. It is possible that those 
individuals and businesses engaged in oceans-related activities 
may become subject to some new regulations promulgated by the 
NOAA Administrator to carry out Title II in cases where 
existing authorities are, have not been previously granted or 
exercised.

                            ECONOMIC IMPACT

    Section 307 would authorize new annual appropriations for 
the Council on Ocean Stewardship for Fiscal Years (FY) 2005 
through FY2010, as follows: $4,000,000 in FY 2005; $4,120,000 
in FY 2006; $4,244,000 in FY 2007; $4,371,000 in FY 2008; 
$4,502,000 in FY 2009; and $4,637,000 in FY 2010. This Act does 
not specifically authorize new appropriations for NOAA or its 
programs per se, but it does uphold the authorizations of 
appropriations established in those public laws related to 
oceans and atmosphere that NOAA implements through its programs 
and activities.

                                PRIVACY

    The Committee does not expect that this legislation would 
have any adverse impact on the personal privacy of individuals 
or businesses.

                               PAPERWORK

    This legislation would require the following reports:
           Within 9 months of enactment, the 
        Administrator would be required to submit a plan and 
        budget to Congress setting forth a proposal for program 
        and agency reorganization that fully considers the 
        recommendations of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy 
        that will provide improved services to the nation. This 
        plan would be published in the Federal register for 
        public notice and comment at least 60 days prior to 
        final submission to Congress.
           The Administrator would be directed to 
        develop a 20-year integrated research plan for the 
        agency setting forth its scientific goals and 
        priorities, as well as programmatic actions to carry 
        out those goals and priorities. The plan would be 
        revised every 5-to-7 years.
           Beginning not later than 12 months after the 
        date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator would 
        be required to consult with relevant federal and state 
        agencies, and submit to Congress a biennial report on 
        the status and condition of the nation's ocean and 
        atmospheric environments (including climate change); 
        current foreseeable trends in the quality, management 
        and utilization of such environments; and the effects 
        of those trends of the social, economic, ecological and 
        other requirements of the nation.
           Not later than 18 months after the date of 
        enactment of the Act, the Administrator would be 
        required to submit to Congress detailed recommendations 
        on technical and conforming amendments to federal law 
        necessary to carry out this Act.
           The Council on Ocean Stewardship that is 
        created by this Act would be required to compile and 
        submit to the President studies relating to the 
        conditions and trends in the quality of the ocean and 
        atmospheric environment. The Council also would be 
        directed to review and appraise the various programs 
        and activities of the federal government and make 
        recommendations to the President with respect to the 
        effectiveness of these programs in achieving the policy 
        set forth in this Act. The Council would also develop 
        and issue recommendation and guidance for establishing 
        mechanisms to assure the coordination of federal ocean, 
        coastal and atmospheric programs and activities at the 
        regional level. In addition, the Council would be 
        directed to conduct an annual review and analysis of 
        funding proposed for ocean and atmospheric research and 
        management in all Federal agency budgets, and provide 
        budget recommendations to the President, the agencies, 
        and OMB
           Not later than 18 months after the enactment 
        of this Act, the President would be directed to submit 
        to Congress, through the Council on Ocean Stewardship, 
        a biennial report on Federal ocean and atmospheric 
        programs, priorities, and accomplishments.
           Within one year after the date of enactment 
        of this Act and at least once every three years 
        thereafter, the Chair of the National Science and 
        Technology Council (NSTC), through the National Ocean 
        Science Committee established by the Act, would be 
        directed to develop a National Strategy for Ocean 
        Science, Education, and Technology. Not later than 90 
        days before the Chair of the NSTC submits this 
        strategy, and summary of the proposed strategy or 
        revision shall be published in the Federal Register for 
        a public comment period of not less than 60 days.
           Not later than 2 years after the issuance of 
        the final report of the Commission on Ocean Policy, the 
        President, in consultation with the Administrator and 
        the Council on Ocean Stewardship would be required to 
        submit to Congress recommendations on, and a plan and 
        proposed schedule for the transfer of relevant oceanic 
        or atmospheric programs, functions, services, and 
        associated resources to NOAA from any other federal 
        agency; consolidation or elimination of oceanic or 
        atmospheric programs, functions, services, or resources 
        within or among Federal agencies if their consolidation 
        or elimination would not undermine the policy goals of 
        the Act; and reorganization, including the 
        establishment of NOAA as an independent agency, 
        elevation of NOAA to departmental status, or the 
        establishment of a new department that would provide 
        increased national attention and resources to oceanic 
        and atmospheric needs and priorities and promote an 
        integrated ecosystem and watershed-based approach.
    The reported bill may result in some new regulations that 
the NOAA Administrator would promulgate in accordance with 
implementation of Title II. Any new regulations may result in 
new paperwork responsibilities for those individuals or 
businesses subject to the regulations.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

Section 1. Short Title
    Section 1 would establish the short title of the bill as 
the ``National Ocean Policy and Leadership Act''.
Section 2. Table of Contents
    Section 2 would provide the table of contents for the Act.
Section 3. Definitions
    Section 3 would define key terms applicable to the bill.

                     TITLE I--NATIONAL OCEAN POLICY

Section 101. Findings
    Section 101 would set forth the findings for the act.
Section 102. Purposes
    Section 102 would set forth the purposes for the act, which 
would be to: (1) set forth a national policy relating to oceans 
and atmosphere; (2) establish NOAA, by statute, as the lead 
Federal ocean and atmospheric agency and identify its 
authorities, duties, and powers; (3) set forth the duties, 
responsibilities, and principal officers of the Administration; 
(4) establish a mechanism for Federal leadership, coordination, 
and action on national oceanic and atmospheric priorities; and 
(5) enhance Federal partnerships with State and local 
governments, as well as other stakeholders, with respect to 
ocean and atmospheric programs and activities.
Section 103. Policy and Implementation
    Section 103 would state that it is the policy of the United 
States to establish and maintain for the benefit of the Nation 
a coordinated, comprehensive, and long-range national program 
of marine and atmospheric research, conservation, management, 
education, monitoring, and assessment that promotes a number of 
articulated goals. The President, under guidance from the 
Council on Ocean Stewardship, acting through NOAA and other 
Federal agencies with ocean and atmospheric responsibilities, 
would be directed to implement programs and activities to carry 
out the policy.

       TITLE II--NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION

Section 201. Establishment
    Section 201 would establish NOAA as an administration 
within the Department of Commerce, and states that it would be 
the lead civilian agency for oceanic, weather, atmospheric, and 
climate services and supporting research, conservation, 
management, and education for the Nation.
Section 202. Functions and Purposes
    Section 202(a) would establish NOAA's major mission areas 
by setting forth the following functions and purposes of NOAA: 
(1) management, conservation, protection, and restoration of 
ocean resources; (2) observation, monitoring, assessment, 
forecasting, prediction, operations, and exploration for ocean 
and atmospheric environments; and (3) research, education and 
outreach, technical assistance, and technology development and 
innovation activities relating to ocean and atmospheric 
environments. These functions would be carried out in a 
coordinated, integrated, and ecosystem-based manner. Section 
202(b) would ensure that NOAA programs and activities work with 
State and other Federal programs to encourage cooperation, 
coordination, and integration of State and Federal coastal, 
oceanic, and atmospheric programs.
    Section 202(c) would provide that NOAA would cooperate to 
the fullest extent practicable with the Secretary of State in 
providing representation at all meetings and conferences 
relating to actions or activities described in this Act in 
which representatives of the United States and foreign 
countries participate, including treaties, agreements, and 
understandings with foreign nations and international 
organizations.
    Section 202(d) would authorize the Administrator to 
promote, support, and enter into partnerships with academia, 
industry, conservation groups, educators, and other interested 
persons to improve the effectiveness of NOAA programs and 
activities, and enhance public awareness and understanding of 
NOAA's role and missions.
Section 203. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    Section 203(a) would provide that NOAA would be 
administered by the Administrator of NOAA. The Administrator 
would be appointed by the President, by and with the advice of 
the Senate. The Administrator would be compensated at level II 
of the Executive Schedule under section 5313 of title 5, United 
States Code. The Administrator, under the supervision and 
direction of the Secretary, would be responsible for the 
exercise of all powers and the discharge of all duties of NOAA, 
including all personnel and activities thereof. The term of any 
individual to serve as Administrator would be five years.
    Section 203(b) would establish a Deputy Administrator of 
NOAA. The Deputy Administrator would be appointed by the 
President to perform such functions and exercises as the 
Administrator may prescribe, by and with the advice of the 
Senate based on the individual's professional qualifications 
and without regard to political affiliation. The Deputy 
Administrator would be compensated at the rate of level III of 
the Executive Schedule under section 5314 of title 5, United 
States Code, and would be the Administrator's first assistant 
for purposes of subchapter III of chapter 33 of title 5, U.S.C.
    Section 203(c) would provide that NOAA shall have a Chief 
Operating Officer, who would assume the responsibilities held 
by the Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and 
Atmosphere prior to enactment of this Act. This individual 
would be responsible for all aspects of NOAA operations and 
management and be a Senior Executive Service position.
    Section 203(d) would provide that NOAA would have three 
Associate Administrators, who shall be responsible for each of 
the functions established by section 202(a). The Associate 
Administrators would be compensated at the rate of level IV of 
the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United 
States Code.
    Section 203(e) would provide that NOAA would have Assistant 
Administrators, who shall perform such duties and exercise such 
powers as the Administrator may prescribe.
    Section 203(f) would establish a NOAA General Counsel 
position that would be appointed by the President upon 
recommendation by the Administrator.
    Section 203(g) would authorize NOAA to maintain at least 
350 Commissioned Officers of NOAA on the lineal list, plus 
additional officers as necessary to support NOAA's mission. In 
addition, the President be able to appoint, by and with the 
advice of the Senate, two Commissioned Officers of NOAA to 
serve at any one time as the designated heads of two principal 
offices at NOAA, or the President may designate one officer as 
the head of one organizational entity and one as the head of 
the Commissioned Corps.
    Section 203(h) would authorize the Secretary of the Navy, 
though the Oceanographer of the Navy, to detail a Navy Deputy 
to NOAA on an additional duty basis.
Section 204. Powers and Authorities
    Section 204 would describe the various powers and 
authorities of the NOAA Administrator. In addition to any other 
authority provided to the Under Secretary of Oceans and 
Atmosphere by law or by delegation from the Secretary, the 
Administrator would have the certain authorities with respect 
to NOAA and the implementation of this Act. These would include 
all authorities vested in NOAA or the Secretary with respect to 
NOAA in effect immediately prior to enactment, specifically 
including Reorganization Plan Number 4 (establishing NOAA in 
1970) and Reorganization Plan Number 2 (transferring the 
National Weather Service to Commerce) and the 1890 organic act 
for the National Weather Service. Other authorities would 
include rulemaking authority; information dissemination and 
education authority; contracting and granting authority; 
receipt of bequests or donations authority; use of services of 
Federal, State, or local agencies authority; acquisition 
authority; and construction authority.
Section 205. Enforcement
    Section 205 would detail the authority of the Administrator 
to enforce the applicable provisions of any Act, including 
utilizing State personnel to carry out enforcement activities 
and entering into cooperative agreements with State authorities 
to ensure cooperative enforcement of State and Federal laws.
Section 206. Relationship to Secretary of Commerce
    Section 206 would provide that NOAA would be subject to the 
policy direction of the Secretary of Commerce, but would 
otherwise retain responsibility for decisions regarding the 
management and administration of its operations and exercise 
independent control of its budget decisions. This 
responsibility would include the submission of annual budget 
requests by NOAA to the Director of OMB, who would examine NOAA 
budgets with those of other natural resource programs.
Section 207. NOAA Plan and Budget
    Section 207(a) would direct the Administrator to submit to 
Congress a plan and budget setting forth a proposal for program 
and agency reorganization no later than 9 months after the date 
of enactment. This plan would: (1) implement title I and title 
II of this Act; (2) improve integration of NOAA programs and 
operations in accordance with the functions and purposes 
identified in section 202 (without undermining the missions or 
purposes of the National Weather Service under its own organic 
act); (3) provide for a coherent, transparent, and accountable 
management and budgetary structure for all agency functions and 
purposes; (4) provide for ecosystem-based science and 
management; (5) organize research, operations, and services in 
a manner that supports regional and national needs; (6) support 
the development of regulatory management and incentive-based 
approaches designed to integrate multiple statutory mandates; 
(7) ensure crosscutting activities among missions in 
cooperation with other Federal and State agencies, and transfer 
products and services among the 3 agency functions set forth in 
Sec.202; and (8) maximize opportunities to work in partnership 
with States and other stakeholders to promote ecosystem-based 
science and management, develop effective education and 
outreach efforts, and enhance capacity to manage issues on an 
eco-regional basis.
    Section 207(b) would provide that the plan would be 
developed in consultation with interested parties, including 
the States, academia, industry, conservation organizations, and 
labor organizations certified as representatives of 
Administrative employees. The draft plan shall be published in 
the Federal Register for public notice at least 60 days before 
final submission to Congress.
Section 208. Research Plan
    Section 208 would provide that the NOAA Administrator shall 
develop an integrated research plan for the agency that would 
set forth scientific goals and priorities (and implementing 
programs) in 5-year phases; identify linkages between 
Administration research activities and missions; identify how 
Administration laboratories, institutes, and the extramural 
scientific community would participate and assist in achieving 
the research goals; consider reports published by the National 
Research Council; be developed in consultation with 
programmatic officers and the extramural scientific community; 
and be revised every 5-7 years. The research plan shall provide 
for ocean exploration; development of monitoring methods and 
instruments for oceans and atmospheric environments; basic and 
applied ocean and atmospheric research (including climate 
change); and education, training, and outreach.
Section 209. Science Advisory Board
    Section 209(a) would provide for the establishment within 
the Administration a Science Advisory Board, which would 
provide scientific advice as may be requested by the 
Administrator or the Congress.
    Section 209(b) would state that the purpose of the Science 
Advisory Board is to advise the Administrator and Congress (as 
requested) on long-range and short-range strategies for 
research, education, resource management, and environmental 
assessment and prediction.
    Section 209(c) would describe the make-up of the Science 
Advisory Board, which shall consist of not more than 15 members 
appointed by the Administrator to ensure balanced 
representation among scientists, engineers, resource managers, 
educators, and science and ocean policy experts. Each member of 
the Board would be appointed for 3-year terms, which are 
renewable once. One member of the Board will be designated 
chairperson by the Administrator.
    Section 209(d) would provide administrative provisions for 
the Science Advisory Board. The Board would report to the 
Administrator and the appropriate requesting party. The Board 
would meet at least twice a year, and at any other time at the 
call of the Administrator or the Chairperson. Members of the 
Board would not be compensated but may be allowed travel 
expenses and per diem. If the Board finds it necessary, it may 
establish subcommittees, task forces, and working groups.
    Section 209(e) would state that section 14 of the Federal 
Advisory Committee Act in title 5, United States Code, shall 
not apply to the Science Advisory Board.
Section 210. Conforming Amendments, Repeals and Transition
    This section would repeal Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1970 
(5 U.S.C. App.), which has been incorporated by reference in 
the Act. It would also clarify that all references in law, 
rule, regulation, or other official document to NOAA, the 
Administrator, the Undersecretary, or other NOAA position 
refers to NOAA as established in this Act. It also would repeal 
existing statutory language setting forth the duties of the 
Under Secretary and Assistant Secretary.
Section 211. Report on Ocean and Atmospheric Conditions and Trends
    Section 211 would require the NOAA Administrator, in 
consultation with relevant Federal and State agencies, to 
submit a biennial report to Congress describing the status and 
trends affecting the Nation's ocean, coastal, and atmospheric 
environments.
Section 212. Implementation
    Section 212 would provide that, not later than 18 months 
after the date of enactment of this title, the Administrator 
shall promulgate all necessary regulations to implement this 
title and submit to Congress detailed recommendations on needed 
technical and conforming amendments to Federal law.
Section 213. Savings Provision
    This section would ensure that all rules, regulations, 
standards, etc. resulting in the assignment of functions to the 
Secretary of Commerce, NOAA Administrator, or any other officer 
of NOAA shall continue in full force after enactment of the 
Act, unless the Act is modified or rescinded.

               TITLE III--FEDERAL COORDINATION AND ADVICE

                SUBTITLE A--COUNCIL ON OCEAN STEWARDSHIP

Section 301. Establishment
    Section 301 would establish a Council on Ocean Stewardship 
in the Executive Office of the President.
Section 302. Membership
    Section 302 would provide that the Council would be 
composed of 3 but no more than 5 members appointed by the 
President, by and with the advice of the Senate, and would set 
forth member qualifications.
Section 303. Functions of the Council
    Section 303(a) would establish the Council's functions, 
including: (1) providing a forum for improving the coordination 
of Federal ocean and atmospheric activities, particularly on 
crosscutting areas that require coordinated Federal action 
(nonpoint source pollution, observing systems, education, and 
ecosystem-based management); (2) gathering information on 
conditions and trends in ocean and atmospheric quality and 
health; (3) analyzing Federal ocean and atmospheric programs to 
determine their effectiveness to achieving the policy set forth 
in section 103; (4) identifying statutory and regulatory 
redundancies or omissions; (5) developing and issue 
recommendations and guidance for establishing mechanisms to 
assure the coordination of Federal ocean, coastal, and 
atmospheric programs and activities at the regional level that 
compliment State initiatives; (6) expanding research, 
education, and outreach efforts by all Federal agencies 
involved in ocean and atmospheric activities; and (7) 
conducting an annual review of Federal budgets and provide 
budget recommendations to the President that will achieve the 
policies of section 103 and improve coordination, cooperation, 
and effectiveness.
    Section 303(b) would provide that the Council would be 
required to consult with the Administrator and outside groups, 
including State and local governments, industry, and 
conservation organizations. It would also utilize the 
expertise, capabilities, and information of public and private 
agencies, organizations, and individuals.
    Section 303(c) would require the Council to prepare a 
biennial report, as outlined in section 305 of the Act, and 
provide other studies, reports, and recommendations as the 
President may request.
Section 304. Council Employees
    Section 304 would establish that the Council may employ any 
officers and employees as necessary to carry out its functions 
and can accept and employ voluntary and uncompensated services. 
Federal agencies, in turn, would be required to provide 
assistance to the Council as needed, including detailing 
employees to the Council.
Section 305. Biennial Report to Congress
    Section 305 would provide that the Council submit a 
biennial report to Congress, beginning not later than 18 months 
after enactment of the Act. The report would describe Federal 
ocean and atmospheric programs, priorities, and 
accomplishments, including an evaluation of the accomplishments 
in terms of the national ocean policy set forth in this Act. It 
would be transmitted to Congress by the President no later than 
December 31 of the year required and Federal agencies and 
Departments would be required to cooperate with the Council on 
this task.
Section 306. Presidential Panel of Advisers on Oceans, Atmosphere, and 
        Climate Change
    Section 306(a) would provide that President may establish a 
Presidential Panel of Advisers on Oceans, Atmosphere, and 
Climate Change which would advise the President and the Chair 
of the Ocean Stewardship Council in identifying and fostering 
regional and national policies relating to the protection, 
management, and restoration of ocean and atmospheric 
environments, and in addition, continually review priority 
issues relating to national ocean and atmospheric policy.
    Section 306(b) would state that the panel shall not consist 
of more than 25 members appointed by the President, with at 
least one representative nominated by a Governor from each of 
the coastal regions identified in the Report of the U.S. 
Commission on Ocean Policy. Each member would serve 3-year 
terms and the Chair of the Council on Ocean Stewardship would 
co- chair the Presidential Panel.
Section 307. Authorization of Appropriations
    This section would authorize annual appropriations for the 
Council on Ocean Stewardship for Fiscal Years (FY) 2005 through 
FY 2010, as follows: $4,000,000 in FY 2005; $4,120,000 in FY 
2006; $4,244,000 in FY 2007; $4,371,000 in FY 2008; $4,502,000 
in FY 2009; and $4,637,000 in FY 2010.

              SUBTITLE B--INTERAGENCY SCIENCE COORDINATION

Section 321. National Ocean Science Committee
    Section 321(a) would authorize a National Ocean Science 
Committee, established by the Chair of the National Science and 
Technology Council, in consultation with the Chairperson of the 
Council on Ocean Stewardship.
    Section 321(b) would state that the Committee would be 
composed of representatives from the following agencies and 
departments: the NOAA Administrator; the Secretary of the Navy; 
the Director of the National Science Foundation; the 
Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space 
Administration; the Under Secretary of Energy for Energy, 
Science, and Environment; the EPA Administrator; the Under 
Secretary of Homeland Security for Science and Technology; the 
Commandant of the United States Coast Guard; the Director of 
the United States Geological Survey; the Director of the 
Minerals Management Service; the Commanding General of the Army 
Corps of Engineers; the Director of the National Institutes of 
Health; the Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, 
Education, and Economics; the Assistant Secretary of State for 
Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs; 
the Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency; 
the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy; 
the Director of OMB; and the leadership of any other 
appropriate Federal agencies.
    Section 321(c) would provide for a chair and vice chair of 
the Committee to be appointed every 2 years by a select 
subcommittee of the Committee.
    Section 321(d) would set forth the responsibilities of the 
Committee, which include: (1) serving as the primary source of 
advice and support for the Council on Ocean Stewardship; (2) 
serving as the committee on ocean science for the Council on 
Science and Technology Policy; (3) improving cooperation among 
Federal agencies and departments with respect to ocean issues; 
(4) developing a strategy and oversee its implementation; (5) 
suggesting policies and procedures and provide support for 
interagency ocean science programs; (6) overseeing 
implementation of an integrated and sustained ocean and coastal 
observing system; (7) establishing interagency subcommittees 
and working groups to develop comprehensive and balanced 
Federal programs and approaches to ocean science needs; (8) 
coordinating international ocean science efforts; and (9) 
carrying out any other activities the Council may require.
Section 322. National Strategy for Ocean Science, Education, and 
        Technology
    Section 322(a) would state that the National Science and 
Technology Council, through the Committee, shall develop a 
National Strategy for Ocean Science, Education, and Technology, 
which would be submitted to Congress within one year after the 
date of enactment of this title, with a revised strategy to be 
submitted at least once every three years thereafter.
    Section 322(b) would provide for specific actions to be 
included in the strategy, which would include: (1) a doubling 
of the Federal investment in ocean science research over 5 
years; (2) the identification of relevant programs and 
activities of the Committee members that contribute to the 
goals and priorities of the strategy; (3) the establishment of 
mechanisms for accelerating the transition of technologies 
across different sectors; (4) the appropriate consideration and 
use of reports and studies; (5) making recommendations for the 
coordination of Federal ocean science activities with the 
States, regional entities, foreign nations, and international 
organizations.
    Section 322(c) would provide for elements to be included in 
the strategy, including: (1) global measurements on all 
relevant spatial and time scales; (2) partnerships among 
Federal agencies, States, academia, industries, and other 
members of the oceans science community; (3) oceanographic 
facility support; (4) focused research initiatives and 
competitive research grants; (5) technology and sensor 
development; (6) workforce and professional development; (7) 
ocean science education coordination and establishment of 
mechanisms to improve ocean literacy and public awareness of 
the oceans; and (8) informational management systems to produce 
readily available information for policymakers.
    Section 322(d) would provide that the Committee shall 
consult with the Advisory Panel, academic, State, industry, and 
conservation groups when developing the strategy.

                      SUBTITLE C--FEDERAL PROGRAMS

Section 341. Federal Program Recommendations
    This section would provide that not later than 24 months 
after the issuance of the final report of the Commission on 
Ocean Policy, the President shall submit to Congress 
recommendations for the following: (1) the transfer of relevant 
Federal ocean and atmospheric programs, services, and 
associated resources to NOAA; (2) consolidation or elimination 
of Federal agency programs that would not undermine the policy 
goals of the Act; and (3) make recommendations regarding 
Federal reorganization, including establishment of NOAA as an 
independent agency, elevation of NOAA to a Federal department, 
or establishment of a new department that would provide 
increased National attention and resources to oceanic and 
atmospheric priorities, including ecosystem and watershed-based 
approaches.
Section 342. No Effect on Other Authorities
    This section would establish that nothing in this Act shall 
be construed to modify the authority of the Administrator or 
the National Weather Service under any other provision of law.



                        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):

                           PUBLIC LAW 99-659

SEC. 407. NOAA OFFICERS.

                           [15 U.S.C. 1503B]

  [(a) Under Secretary.--There shall be in the Department of 
Commerce an Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and 
Atmosphere who shall serve as the Administrator of the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration established by 
Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1970 (5 U.S.C. App. 1) and perform 
such duties as the Secretary of Commerce shall prescribe. The 
Under Secretary shall be appointed by the President by and with 
the advice and consent of the Senate and shall be compensated 
at the rate now or hereafter provided for Level III of the 
Executive Schedule Pay Rates (5 U.S.C. 5314).]

                           [15 U.S.C. 1507C]

    [(b) Assistant Secretary.--There shall be in the Department 
of Commerce, in addition to the Assistant Secretaries of 
Commerce provided by law before the date of enactment of this 
Act [enacted Nov. 14, 1986], one additional Assistant Secretary 
of Commerce who shall have the title Assistant Secretary of 
Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and shall serve as the 
Deputy Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration established by Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1970 
1. (5 U.S.C. App. 1) and perform such duties and functions as 
the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere shall 
prescribe. The Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere 
shall be appointed by the President by and with the advice and 
consent of the Senate and shall be compensated at the rate now 
or hereafter provided for Level IV of the Executive Schedule 
Pay Rates (5 U.S.C. 5315).]

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                   [REORGANIZATION PLAN NO. 4 OF 1970

            [NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION

[Sec. 1. TRANSFERS TO SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

  [The following are hereby transferred to the Secretary of 
Commerce:
          [(a) All functions vested by law in the Bureau of 
        Commercial Fisheries of the Department of the Interior 
        or in its head, together with all functions vested by 
        law in the Secretary of the Interior or the Department 
        of the Interior which are administered through that 
        Bureau or are primarily related to the Bureau, 
        exclusive of functions with respect to (1) Great Lakes 
        fishery research and activities related to the Great 
        Lakes Fisheries Commission, (2) Missouri River 
        Reservoir research, (3) the Gulf Breeze Biological 
        Laboratory of the said Bureau at Gulf Breeze, Florida, 
        and (4) Trans-Alaska pipeline investigations.
          [(b) The functions vested in the Secretary of the 
        Interior by the Act of September 22, 1959 (Public Law 
        86-359, 73 Stat. 642, 16 U.S.C. 760e-760g; relating to 
        migratory marine species of game fish).
          [(c) The functions vested by law in the Secretary of 
        the Interior, or in the Department of the Interior or 
        in any officer or instrumentality of that Department, 
        which are administered through the Marine Minerals 
        Technology Center of the Bureau of Mines.
          [(d) All functions vested in the National Science 
        Foundation by the National Sea Grant College and 
        Program Act of 1966 (80 Stat. 998), as amended (33 
        U.S.C. 1121 et seq.).
          [(e) Those functions vested in the Secretary of 
        Defense or in any officer, employee, or organizational 
        entity of the Department of Defense by the provision of 
        Public Law 91-144, 83 Stat. 326 [unclassified], under 
        the heading ``Operation and maintenance, general'' with 
        respect to ``surveys and charting of northern and 
        northwestern lakes and connecting waters,'' or by other 
        law, which come under the mission assigned as of July 
        1, 1969, to the United States Army Engineer District, 
        Lake Survey, Corps of Engineers, Department of the Army 
        and relate to (1) the conduct of hydrographic surveys 
        of the Great Lakes and their outflow rivers, Lake 
        Champlain, New York State Barge Canals, and the 
        Minnesota-Ontario border lakes, and the compilation and 
        publication of navigation charts, including 
        recreational aspects, and the Great Lakes Pilot for the 
        benefit and use of the public, (2) the conception, 
        planning, and conduct of basic research and development 
        in the fields of water motion, water characteristics, 
        water quantity, and ice and snow, and (3) the 
        publication of data and the results of research 
        projects in forms useful to the Corps of Engineers and 
        the public, and the operation of a Regional Data Center 
        for the collection, coordination, analysis, and the 
        furnishing to interested agencies of data relating to 
        water resources of the Great Lakes.
          [(f) So much of the functions of the transferor 
        officers and agencies referred to in or affected by the 
        foregoing provisions of this section as is incidental 
        to or necessary for the performance by or under the 
        Secretary of Commerce of the functions transferred by 
        those provisions or relates primarily to those 
        functions. The transfers to the Secretary of Commerce 
        made by this section shall be deemed to include the 
        transfer of authority, provided by law, to prescribe 
        regulations relating primarily to the transferred 
        functions.

[Sec. 2. ESTABLISHMENT OF ADMINISTRATION

  [(a) There is hereby established in the Department of 
Commerce an agency which shall be known as the National Oceanic 
and Atmospheric Administration, hereinafter referred to as the 
``Administration.''
  [(b) There shall be at the head of the Administration the 
Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration, hereinafter referred to as the 
``Administrator.'' The Administrator shall be appointed by the 
President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, 
and shall be compensated at the rate now or hereafter provided 
for Level III of the Executive Schedule Pay Rates (5 U.S.C. 
5314).
  [(c) There shall be in the Administration a Deputy 
Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration who shall be appointed by the President, by and 
with the advice and consent of the Senate, and shall be 
compensated at the rate now or hereafter provided for Level IV 
of the Executive Schedule Pay Rates (5 U.S.C. 5315). The Deputy 
Administrator shall perform such functions as the Administrator 
shall from time to time assign or delegate, and shall act as 
Administrator during the absence or disability of the 
Administrator or in the event of a vacancy in the office of 
Administrator.
  [(d) There shall be in the Administration a Chief Scientist 
of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who 
shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and 
consent of the Senate, and shall be compensated at the rate now 
or hereafter provided for Level V of the Executive Schedule Pay 
Rates (5 U.S.C. 5316). The Chief Scientist shall be the 
principal scientific adviser to the Administrator, and shall 
perform such other duties as the Administrator may direct. The 
Chief Scientist shall be an individual who is, by reason of 
scientific education and experience, knowledgeable in the 
principles of oceanic, atmospheric, or other scientific 
disciplines important to the work of the Administration.
  [(e)(1) There shall be in the Administration a General 
Counsel and five Assistant Administrators, one of whom shall be 
the Assistant Administrator for Coastal Zone Management and one 
of whom shall be the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries. The 
General Counsel and each Assistant Administrator shall be 
appointed by the Secretary, subject to approval of the 
President, and shall be compensated at a rate now or hereafter 
provided for level V of the Executive Schedule Pay Rates (5 
U.S.C. 5316).
  [(2) The General Counsel shall serve as the chief legal 
officer for all legal matters which may arise in connection 
with the conduct of the functions of the Administration.
  [(3) The Assistant Administrator for Coastal Zone Management 
shall be an individual who is, by reason of background and 
experience, especially qualified to direct the implementation 
and administration of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 
(16 U.S.C. 1451 et seq.).
  [(4) The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries shall be 
responsible for all matters related to living marine resources 
which may arise in connection with the conduct of the functions 
of the Administration.
  [(f) The President may appoint in the Administration, by and 
with the advice and consent of the Senate, two commissioned 
officers to serve at any one time as the designated heads of 
two principal constituent organizational entities of the 
Administration, or the President may designate one such officer 
as the head of such an organizational entity and the other as 
head of the commissioned corps of the Administration. Any such 
designation shall create a vacancy on the active list and the 
officer while serving under this subsection shall have the 
rank, pay, and allowances of a rear admiral (upper half).
  [(g) Any commissioned officer of the Administration who has 
served under (d) or (f) and is retired while so serving or is 
retired after the completion of such service while serving in a 
lower rank or grade, shall be retired with the rank, pay, and 
allowances authorized by law for the highest grade and rank 
held by him; but any such officer, upon termination of his 
appointment in a rank above that of captain, shall, unless 
appointed or assigned to some other position for which a higher 
rank or grade is provided, revert to the grade and number he 
would have occupied had he not served in a rank above that of 
captain and such officer shall be an extra number in that 
grade.

[Sec. 3. PERFORMANCE OF TRANSFERRED FUNCTIONS

  [The provisions of sections 2 and 4 of Reorganization Plan 
No. 5 of 1950 (64 Stat. 1263) shall be applicable to the 
functions transferred hereunder to the Secretary of Commerce.

[Sec. 4. INCIDENTAL TRANSFERS

  [(a) So much of the personnel, property, records, and 
unexpended balances of appropriations, allocations, and other 
funds employed, used, held, available, or to be made available 
in connection with the functions transferred to the Secretary 
of Commerce by this reorganization plan as the Director of the 
Office of Management and Budget shall determine shall be 
transferred to the Department of Commerce at such time or times 
as the Director shall direct.
  [(b) Such further measures and dispositions as the Director 
of the Office of Management and Budget shall deem to be 
necessary in order to effectuate the transfers referred to in 
subsection (a) of this section shall be carried out in such 
manner as he shall direct and by such agencies as he shall 
designate.
  [(c) The personnel, property, records, and unexpended 
balances of appropriations, allocations, and other funds of the 
Environmental Science Services Administration shall become 
personnel, property, records, and unexpended balances of the 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or of such 
other organizational entity or entities of the Department of 
Commerce as the Secretary of Commerce shall determine.
  [(d) The Commissioned Officer Corps of the Environmental 
Science Services Administration shall become the Commissioned 
Officer Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration, Members of the Corps, including those appointed 
hereafter, shall be entitled to all rights, privileges, and 
benefits heretofore available under any law to commissioned 
officers of the Environmental Science Services Administration, 
including those rights, privileges, and benefits heretofore 
accorded by law to commissioned officers of the former Coast 
and Geodetic Survey.
  [(e) Any personnel, property, records, and unexpended 
balances of appropriations, allocations, and other funds of the 
Bureau of Commercial Fisheries not otherwise transferred shall 
become personnel, property, records, and unexpended balances of 
such organizational entity or entities of the Department of the 
Interior as the Secretary of the Interior shall determine.

[Sec. 5. INTERIM OFFICERS

  [(a) The President may authorize any person who immediately 
prior to the effective date of this reorganization plan held a 
position in the executive branch of the Government to act as 
Administrator until the office of Administrator is for the 
first time filled pursuant to provisions of this reorganization 
plan or by recess appointment, as the case may be.
  [(b) The President may similarly authorize any such person to 
act as Deputy Administrator and authorize any such person to 
act as Associate Administrator.
  [(c) The President may similarly authorize a member of the 
former Commissioned Officer Corps of the Environmental Science 
Services Administration to act as the head of one principal 
constituent organizational entity of the Administration.
  [(d) The President may authorize any person who serves in an 
acting capacity under the foregoing provisions of this section 
to receive the compensation attached to the office in respect 
of which he so serves. Such compensation, if authorized, shall 
be in lieu of, but not in addition to, other compensation from 
the United States to which such person may be entitled.

[Sec. 6. ABOLITIONS

  [(a) Subject to the provisions of this reorganization plan, 
the following, exclusive of any functions, are hereby 
abolished:
          [(1) The Environmental Science Services 
        Administration in the Department of Commerce 
        (established by Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1965, 79 
        Stat. 1318), including the offices of Administrator of 
        the Environmental Science Administration and Deputy 
        Administrator of the Environmental Science Services 
        Administration.
          [(2) The Bureau of Commercial Fisheries in the 
        Department of the Interior (16 U.S.C. 742b), including 
        the office of Director of the Bureau of Commercial 
        Fisheries.
  [(b) Such provisions as may be necessary with respect to 
terminating any outstanding affairs shall be made by the 
Secretary of Commerce in the case of the Environmental Science 
Services Administration and by the Secretary of the Interior in 
the case of the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries.]