The U.S. Ocean Policy Committee, led by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the White House Council on Environmental Quality, recently released the report Strategic Priorities for Ocean Exploration and Characterization of the United States Exclusive Economic Zone.
Led by the Interagency Working Group on Ocean Exploration and Characterization, with support from the National Ocean Mapping, Exploration, and Characterization Council, the report identifies current high-priority geographies and thematic topics that require better characterization and understanding. Federal agencies working to address these priorities will help advance the nation’s forecasting of seafloor hazards, improve understanding of ocean cultural heritage and uncover important new knowledge about previously underexplored habitats and ecosystems.
As a co-chair of the Working Group and a Council member agency, BOEM played an integral role in the report’s development and is actively promoting interagency efforts to further meet ocean exploration and characterization needs. For example, BOEM, NOAA and USGS recently sent the innovative uncrewed survey vessel Saildrone Surveyor on a seafloor mapping mission in the Aleutian Islands – including in a hazardous, volcanically active area – specifically because it was identified as high priority in the report.
To read the report, visit: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/NOMEC_OEC_Priorities_Report.pdf
Map showing all geographic priority areas submitted by IWG-OEC subgroups. All polygons are attributed with contact information, data types requested, resolution requirements, and justification statements. Polygons will be made publicly available on the NOAA GeoPlatform.
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The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is responsible for America’s offshore energy and mineral resources. The bureau promotes energy independence, environmental protection and economic development through responsible, science-based management of energy and mineral resources on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf.