ABSTRACT

A review of the federal oceanographic program over the past 10 years indicates a substantial increase-in-effort, with-emphasis on research and environmental data. For the coming decade this effort may level-off unless new programs are instituted. Forecasts for ocean business, which were optimistic a few years ago, have recently become pessimistic. Offshore oil operations have shown a substantial increase during the last several years, but their future could be affected by changes in the tax system and political events.

There is a need for realistic assessments of programs and objectives. The oceans offer many opportunities for exploration and exploitation because many operations and recreation will move into the offshore areas in the years to come. New developments are needed for many applications to make ocean operation more cost effective. There is an increased opportunity for data acquisition and handling. .in offshore oil operations casualty analysis and the role of man as part of the total system will require added attention. A nation1 s wealth is related to its-scientific and technical programs. An ocean program can provide for increased employment, added natural resources and food supply. An integrated program for ocean technology is required to provide for the needs of the future.

INTRODUCTION

During the last few years an unusual effort has been expended in reviewing and planning for a federal program. The recommendations for use of the sea have been published in "Effective Use of the Sea"1 and in Marine Science Affairs. 2–4 Subsequently, in Jan., 1969, more specific proposals for ocean programs have been made by the Commission on Marine Science, Engineering and Resources recommending that a new agency, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric-Agency [NOAA] provide a structure through which to organize and conduct future ocean programs.5 In addition, there is a proposal for the International Decade of Ocean Exploration6 summarized in a report by the National Council on Marine Resources and Engineering Development which was supplemented in an appraisal by Committees of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in 1969, "An Oceanic Quest - The International Decade of Ocean Exploration". 7

Commercial ventures related to the sea have shown a steady increase during the last few years, with offshore oil drilling operations being by far the most significant business. "Our Nation and the Sea")5 and panel reports8–10 present the activities and report on the development of living and nonliving marine resources. The recommendation of the Commission on Marine Science, Engineering and Resources visualizes, through NOAA, the establishment of a national program. We are living in a technological age in which the historic characteristic may be a national program, as exemplified through NASA and. projects such as landing a man on the moon. It has been found that amazing scientific Achievement can be made through massive pooling of funds and manpower, organized at a national level and directed toward specific goals.

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