USA - Wicker Reintroduces National Ocean Exploration Act
U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., ranking member and chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, along with Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, yesterday reintroduced the National Ocean Exploration Act.
The bill would authorize the National Ocean Mapping, Exploration, and Characterization Council, update national priorities for ocean mapping, exploration, and characterization, and direct the Council to coordinate and facilitate activities across federal and non-federal entities to advance those priorities.
“We need to improve the way we map, explore, and characterize the deep seas,” said Wicker. “This bill would serve as a catalyst for new underwater discoveries. It would make important information available through multi-sector partnerships and ensure the ocean remains a valuable source of American prosperity.”
“This bill will elevate ocean science at NOAA and across federal agencies, it will renew a focus on mapping and ocean research, and it will allow for innovative partnerships and cooperative agreements to expand our ocean exploration efforts,” said Cantwell. “NOAA’s Ocean Exploration Program supports Pacific Northwest research from mapping the Arctic to facilitate shipping, tourism and commerce, to exploring the biological and cultural importance of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.”
“With Alaska’s vast coastline and our changing climate, the responsible exploration, stewardship, and development of our nation’s oceans is as important as ever,” said Murkowski.