Summary: S.361 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (07/01/2005)

Ocean and Coastal Observation System Act of 2005 - (Sec. 4) Directs the President, acting through the National Ocean Research Leadership Council, to establish and maintain an integrated system of ocean and coastal observations, data communication and management, analysis, modeling, research, education, and outreach designed to provide data and information for the timely detection and prediction of changes occurring in the ocean and coastal environment that impact the Nation's social, economic, and ecological systems. Requires the system to provide for long-term, continuous, and quality-controlled observations of the coasts, oceans, and Great Lakes.

Requires the Council to establish an interagency program office (OceanUS) responsible for program planning and coordination of the system. Requires OceanUS, among other duties, to provide for opportunities to partner or contract with private sector companies in deploying ocean observation system elements.

Requires the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to be the lead Federal agency for implementation and operation of the system. Requires NOAA, among other duties, to integrate the capabilities of the National Coastal Data Development Center and the Coastal Services Center, and other appropriate centers, into the observing system for the purpose of assimilating, managing, disseminating, and archiving data from regional and other observation systems.

Authorizes the Administrator of NOAA to certify one or more regional associations to be responsible for the development and operation of regional ocean and coastal observing systems to meet the information needs of user groups in the region while adhering to national standards. Deems certified regional systems to be part of NOAA when carrying out this Act, and employees of such systems acting within the scope of their employment to be federal government employees, for purposes of civil liability under specified laws.

(Sec. 5) Directs the Council to establish programs for research, development, and education for the system.

(Sec. 6) Authorizes departments and agencies represented on the Council to participate in interagency financing and to share funds appropriated to any Council member.

(Sec. 7) Declares that nothing in this Act supersedes, or limits the authority of the Secretary of the Interior under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.

(Sec. 8) Authorizes appropriations to NOAA for FY2006-FY2010 for implementation of the integrated ocean and coastal observing system and the research and development program required by this Act. Requires the allocation of 50 percent of appropriations for the observing system to certified regional associations for regional systems.

(Sec. 9) Requires the President, acting through the Council, to report to Congress on the programs established under this Act.