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BACKGROUND OF STUDY THE U.S. EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE A 1983 presidential proclamation created a 200-mile-w~de belt of seabed jurisdiction adjacent to the United States and its island territories. This vast area, which more than doubles the nation's resource jurisdiction, is recognized as the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The proclamation extends U.S. sovereign rights in this region for the purposes of exploring, utilizing, conserving, and managing natural resources. The EEZ contains both living resources, such as fisheries, and extensive and potentially valuable mineral and energy resources. The seafloor of the EEZ may also be suitable as a repository for wastes and is presently the site of cable communications and Dineline s.V.~.~em.c n'.C.cori~f~.~ untie tranen~rt of hydrocarbons. r -a -A ~-~ I ... ~ Van Developing and using the resources of the seabed incur the responsibility of determining the most appropriate development and management policies for this vast area. The design of such policies should take into account both the economic importance of the resources and the environmental impacts of development activities. Prerequisites for the formulation of policies for the long-term management of this region in the nation's best interest are a comprehensive survey of the EEZ seabed and an understanding of its geologic, biologic, chemical and physical characteristics. This report represents the first phase of an effort to contribute to the improvement of ongoing federal activities to map and survey the EEZ as the first step in obtaining comprehensive scientific understanding of this region. USGS/NOAA JOINT OFFICE FOR MAPPING AND RESEARCH In 1984, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to map the EEZ. In December 1987, their parent agencies, the Departments of the Interior and Commerce, signed a charter to coordinate mapping and research activities in the EEZ under the USGS/NOAA Joint Office for Mapping and Research (JOMAR). The charter stipulates that coordination with other federal, state, private, and academic organizations is necessary. In addition to coordinating mapping and research activities, JOMAR's objective is to provide leadership for the design, implementation, and coordination of a national program to characterize the EEZ and in non-living resources. To achieve this goal, JOMAR is developing a long-term plan for mapping and research, based on the needs and priorities of all interested parties and the capabilities of available technology. In order to assess the data and information requirements of present and potential users of the EEZ, JOMAR has formed a Federal Users' Coordination Committee, conducted a series of biennial symposia to provide a forum for academic, industry, and state viewpoints to be expressed, and conducted a Federal Agency Seafloor Information Survey. In addition, the drafts of JOMAR's National 3

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4 Plan for Mapping and Research in the Exclusive Economic Zones and a proposal for The first great survey of the American Ocean" (the American Ocean Program) have been circulated to federal agencies involved in ocean-related research and technology programs for comment and review. NRC COMMITTEES Following a series of exploratory discussions between the Office of Energy and Marine Geology of the USGS and members of the Marine Board of the National Research Council (NRCy, a committee was appointed under the NRC's Marine Board in 1986 to identifier existing and potential uses of the seafloor in the EEZ and assess the adequacy of current research and technology to serge as the basis for planning future utilization. The committee's investigations resulted in a report, Our Seabed Frontier: Challenges and Choices (National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1989~. In May 1988, the Director of the USGS and the Administrator of NOAA requested that the Marine Board establish a new committee representing the major non-federal users of seabed information. They requested specific assistance with identifying the needs and priorities of the states, academia, and industry for data and mapping in the EEZ in order to provide JOMAR with an independent perspective on the information needs of potential seabed users. Following approval by the NRC's Governing Board, a committee was appointed in June 1989 to perform this task. COMMITTEE COMPOSITION AND OBJECTIVES Members of the committee on EEZ Information Needs were selected in consultation with the NRC's Ocean Studies Board. The membership includes representatives from marine industries and oceanographic institutions, experts in marine geology, marine technology systems, marine engineering, marine mining, and geophysical data systems, and a coastal state geologist. In accordance with the request from the USGS and NOAA and based on preliminary scoping of the issues at their first meeting, the committee defined the overall objectives for its investigations as follows: to ascertain user requirements and priorities for information within the non-federal community, including the states, academia, and industry; to assess the technical aspects of the national program for EEZ seabed mapping and research, with special attention to the adequacy of technology for meeting user requirements for information; and to evaluate data management and dissemination aspects of EEZ activities and make recommendations for an optimum data management structure that encompasses all information gathered and the diverse interests of users. This report is the culmination of the first phase of the committee's efforts to accomplish these objectives. It presents the needs of the coastal states and territories for information about the EEZ in relation to plans for future uses of offshore areas and the results of the committee's investigations of data needs in relation to specific uses or activities in the EEZ. Future reports will focus on acquiring responses from industry and academia about their information needs. Data management issues and technology needs will be considered in all phases of the committee's investigations where they are relevant. To accomplish these objectives, the committee initiated investigations along two courses linked by common alms: first, determine regional needs for information through a questionnaire mailed to appropriate agencies in coastal states and territories to obtain a regionally representative sample of the nation's needs for information about its offshore areas in relation to planning for future uses; and

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s second, determine the data needs related to specific EEZ uses or activities based on review of the relevant literature, discussions with researchers and experts, and the expertise and judgment of committee members. This second line of investigation raised a number of questions related to data management that were intertwined with fulfilling the information needs associated with planned uses of the EEZ seabed. The question posed was: How can the information that is collected be made useful to potential users of the information in terms of data availability and effective distribution systems? The findings and conclusions of this phase of the study represent a synthesis of analysis of the responses to the questionnaire by this segment of the user community and the perspective and expertise of the committee members based on independent research on information needs associated with specific uses and activities in the EEZ. Future investigations will be conducted in a similar manne~that is, along two courses. Another segment of the non-federal user community will be surveyed to determine their information needs (e.g., industry users). At the same time, the committee will continue its own research and produce a synthesis of data from surveys and from their own research and independent investigations in the form of findings and conclusions. A final report will bring together all the findings and conclusions of the project and produce recommendations for specific action. The task of this project is not viewed as simply to present the results of surveys, but rather to combine parochial interests of various users with a broader perspective that takes into account the national interest in the ocean and its resources. Because these reports are intended as advice to JOMAR in relation to ongoing mapping and research activities, the focus of attention is on data related to geology, mapping, and bathymetric and on non-living resources. Consequently, living resources (such as fisheries) and biological information are not included in the committee's analysis of priorities for information about the EEZ. The committee is not, in this report, prepared to consider questions about allocation of resources for existing or future activities in the EEZ but has focused its efforts on determining the substantive (rather than quantitative) needs for various categories of data. Therefore, it takes no stand on whether ongoing programs, such as bathymetry or seafloor imagery, need to be modified.

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