If fully executed, the elements outlined in the FOARAM Act and recommended in this report would create a large and complex program that will require sufficient support. These program goals are certainly on the order of, if not more ambitious than, previous major oceanographic programs and will require a high level of coordination that warrants a program office to coordinate the activities of the program and serve as a central point for communicating and collaborating with outside groups such as Congress and international ocean acidification programs. International collaboration is critical to the success of the Program; ocean acidification is a global problem which requires a multinational research approach. Such collaboration also affords opportunities to share resources (including expensive large-scale facilities for ecosystem-level manipulation) and expertise that may be beyond the capacity of one single nation.
RECOMMENDATION: The National Ocean Acidification Program should create a detailed implementation plan with community input. The plan should address (1) goals and objectives; (2) metrics for evaluation; (3) mechanisms for coordination, integration, and evaluation; (4) means to transition research and observational elements to operational status; (5) agency roles and responsibilities; (6) coordination with existing and developing national and international programs; (7) resource requirements; and (8) community input and external review.
RECOMMENDATION: The National Ocean Acidification Program should create a program office with the resources to ensure successful coordination and integration of all of the elements outlined in the FOARAM Act and this report.