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Summary Detailed estimates of anticipated benefits are given in other sections of this report. The following paragraphs summarize some general conclusions. Numerical estimates of benefits and costs for each area, percentage of bene- fits attributable to oceanic research, and discounted values are given in Table 1. INCREASES IN FISHERIES PRODUCTION While the catch of U. S. domestic fisheries increased by less than 10 fisheries per cent during the past decade, a rational development of these in waters near our shores could result in doubling domestic production in the next 10 to 15 years. The interests of U. S. companies and individuals in ocean fisheries at great distances from the United States have grown very rapidly since World War II, and the rate of growth is accelerating err .1 _O 11 c1~1s ac;~-elerallon continues, there Could be a tour-iold increase in U. S. Overseas fisheries by 1974. Both domestic and overseas fisheries depend for their development upon many things in addition to oceanographic research. But such research on a continuing basis is essential if the poten- tial rates of growth are to be realized and maintained. MARINE MINERALS There is good reason to believe that the manganese nodules in the deep sea, the phosphate deposits on oceanic banks and the outer edges of the continental shelf, and the placer deposits of various minerals on the inner shelf can all be brought to profitable exploitation within 10 years. Research and surveys on the distribution, extent, and composition of these sea-floor materials are needed before they can be utilized effec- tively. MARINE RECREATION Surfing, sailing, swimming, sun-bathing, scuba diving, water skiing, sport fishing, and motorboating are rapidly growing recreational uses of our shores and marginal seas. At the same time, the near-shore zone is being used increasingly for disposal of human and industrial wastes, com- mercial harvesting of marine plants and animals, petroleum production, as a source of cooling water for electric-power generation, and for various 3
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. ~ ml. ltary purposes. Reconciliation of conflicts between recreational and other uses is an urgent national problem, as is the development of marine recreational facilities, such as small boat harbors, breakwaters, sandy beaches, and concentrations of sport fishes. These tasks demand much more knowledge of waves, currents, diffusion in estuarine and coastal waters, and marine biology than we now possess, but the economic return from this knowledge, when combined with other developments, can be large. National expenditures for marine recreation will probably increase by at least $100 million a year over the next two decades. OCEAN SHIPPING One of the important ways to save money is to reduce shipborne transportation costs. At present, the value of U. S. imports plus exports is about $40 billions a year; it will certainly rise in the future because of our increasing dependence on overseas sources of minerals, fossil fuels, wood and paper, and our need to increase exports to ensure economic growth. l he best estimates are that U. S. foreign trade in oceanic shipping will rise from the 1959 level of 977 million tons to almost 400 million tons in 1970, an increase of about 48 per cent. ()ur shipping bill in 1975 will be around five billion dollars, and the cost of constructing the new ships needed to carry our growing tonnage will be about $500 million a year. Oceanographic research can contribute to lowering shipping costs in sev eral ways. LONG-RANGE WEATHER FORECASTING Recent meteorological studies show that changes in large-scale weather patterns over periods of weeks to many years are closely related to changes in the temperature distribution of the water layers near the surface of the sea. Because the sea behaves more sluggishly than the air, these observa- tions indicate that improvements in long-range weather forecasting can be made through studies of the large-scale interactions between the oceans and the atmosphere. The present accuracy of long-range forecasting is low, but if it could be improved, great economic benefits would follow in such areas as planting and harvesting crops, planning seasonal fuel transportation and storage, proper timing of building and road construc- tion, and flood and drought protection. A 50 per cent improvement in the accuracy of long-range weather forecasting might well produce savings of two billion dollars a year. This could be accomplished in 15 years. SEWAGE DISPOSAL New sewage-treatment plants for o0 million people must be built in the coastal regions of the United States within the next 30 years. Both the construction and the operating costs of these plants could be significantly 4
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reduced if the capaci ty of coastal waters for assimilating and diffusing the treated effluents were better known. This will require detailed ocean- ographic study of currents, diffusion, bottom materials, and marine or- ganisms in estuaries and along open coasts. INTERNATIONAL (COOPERATION A separate categorization of the economic benefits of international oceanographic cooperation is difficult. Through such cooperation, the knowledge needed for long-range weather forecasting, development of ocean fisheries on a world-wide basis, improved routing of merchant ves- sels, and more elective naval operations can be obtained at greatly reduced cost to the United States. In addition, international oceanographic co- operation can contribute directly to our programs of technical assistance to the less-developed countries, by helping them to develop their fisheries, sea transportation, and other marine resources; and it can lay a foundation of knowledge for the rational solution of international controversies con cernlng marine resources. OCEANOGRAPHY FOR DEFENSE Oceanic conditions and processes are obviously important to the Navy, which provides nearly half of the total federal expend) lures for ocean- ography. This expenditure is less than one per cent of the Navy buclget. No foreseeable alternative ways of spending the same amount of money can meet the Navy's needs, and the point of diminishing returns is well above the present level of expenditures. The effectiveness of the present Navy can be significantly increased, and the nature of the future Navy will be appreciably determined by a growing knowledge of the sea.
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