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                                                       Calendar No. 288
105th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE

 1st Session                                                    105-151
_______________________________________________________________________


 
                           OCEANS ACT OF 1997

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 OF THE

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                                    on

                                S. 1213




                                     

                November 8, 1997.--Ordered to be printed


       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                       one hundred fifth congress

                             first session

                     JOHN McCAIN, Arizona, Chairman

TED STEVENS, Alaska                  ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, South Carolina
CONRAD BURNS, Montana                DANIEL K. INOUYE, Hawaii
SLADE GORTON, Washington             WENDELL H. FORD, Kentucky
TRENT LOTT, Mississippi              JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, West 
KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON, Texas            Virginia
OLYMPIA SNOWE, Maine                 JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts
JOHN ASHCROFT, Missouri              JOHN B. BREAUX, Louisiana
BILL FRIST, Tennessee                RICHARD H. BRYAN, Nevada
SPENCER ABRAHAM, Michigan            BYRON L. DORGAN, North Dakota
SAM BROWNBACK, Kansas                RON WYDEN, Oregon

                       John Raidt, Staff Director

     Ivan A. Schlager, Democratic Chief Counsel and Staff Director


                                                       Calendar No. 288
105th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE

 1st Session                                                    105-151
_______________________________________________________________________


                           OCEANS ACT OF 1997

                                _______
                                

                November 8, 1997.--Ordered to be printed

_______________________________________________________________________


       Mr. McCain, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
                Transportation, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1213]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 1213) ``A Bill to establish a 
National Ocean Council, a Commission on Ocean Policy, and for 
other purposes'', having considered the same, reports favorably 
thereon with an amendment (in the nature of a substitute) and 
recommends that the bill (as amended) do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

  S. 1213 calls for the development and implementation of a 
coherent, comprehensive, and long-range national policy to 
explore, protect, and use ocean and coastal resources. The bill 
as reported would establish: (1) a 16-member Commission on 
Ocean Policy (Commission) to provide recommendations for that 
policy; and (2) the National Ocean Council (Council), a high-
level Federal interagency working group to advise the 
President, assist in policy development and implementation, and 
coordinate budgets relating to ocean and coastal activities.

                          Background and Needs

  In 1966, Congress enacted the Marine Resources and 
Engineering Development Act (1966 Act). The 1966 Act was 
comprised of three primary elements: (1) a declaration of U.S. 
policy and objectives with respect to marine science 
activities; (2) establishment of a National Council on Marine 
Resources and Engineering Development; and (3) creation of a 
Presidential commission on marine science, engineering, and 
resources. Dr. Julius A. Stratton, a former president of the 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology and then-chairman of the 
Ford Foundation, led the commission created in the 1966 Act on 
an unprecedented, and since unrepeated, investigation of this 
nation's relationship with the oceans. The Stratton Commission 
and its congressional advisors, including Senators Warren G. 
Magnuson and Norris Cotton, worked together in a bipartisan 
fashion.
  The Stratton Commission was established and carried out its 
mandate during the Administration of Lyndon Johnson. Commission 
findings were implemented under President Richard Nixon. With a 
staff of 35, the commissioners heard and consulted over 1,000 
people, visited every coastal area of the United States, and 
submitted 126 recommendations in a 1969 report to Congress 
entitled Our Nation and the Sea. Those recommendations led 
directly to the creation of the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 1970, laid the groundwork 
for enactment of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) in 
1972, and established priorities for federal ocean activities 
that have guided this nation for almost thirty years.
  While the Stratton Commission displayed broad vision, and its 
work led directly to a variety of important and concrete 
achievements in U.S. marine policy, the world has changed in 
numerous ways since 1966. First, over 50 percent of the current 
U.S. population now lives in coastal areas which account for 
less than 10 percent of our land area. By the year 2010, 172 
million people, about 60 percent of Americans, will live along 
the coast. Greater understanding and improved management of 
ocean and coastal ecosystems are essential to maintain healthy 
coasts and to prepare for and protect communities from natural 
hazards like hurricanes.
  Second, the U.S. legal and bureaucratic framework related to 
the oceans has grown enormously in the past thirty years. In 
1966, neither NOAA nor the Environmental Protection Agency 
(EPA) had been created. A number of laws with major impacts on 
the conduct of ocean and coastal activities had yet to be 
enacted. These include: the CZMA; the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act; the Marine Mammal Protection 
Act; the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act; the 
Oil Pollution Act; and the Endangered Species Act. Today, 
people who work and live on the water face a patchwork of 
confusing and sometimes contradictory Federal and State 
regulations. Earlier this year, the National Academy of 
Sciences issued a report entitled Striking a Balance, Improving 
Stewardship of Marine Areas, which calls for the establishment 
of a national marine council and the creation of regional 
marine councils to address such concerns.
  Third, ocean and coastal resources once considered 
inexhaustible today are severely depleted, and wetlands and 
other marine habitats are threatened by pollution and human 
activities. In recent years, New England has struggled with the 
collapse of its traditional cod, haddock, and flounder 
fisheries. In other regions, overfished stocks include sharks, 
swordfish, bluefin tuna, salmon, red snapper, grouper, and 
weakfish. Restoring fisheries could add an estimated $2.9 
billion to the economy each year. In addition, coastal habitat 
has been declining. Coastal areas are essential spawning, 
feeding, and nursery areas for over three-quarters of U.S. 
commercial fish catches. However, about 20,000 acres of coastal 
wetlands are disappearing each year. Louisiana alone has lost 
half amillion acres of wetlands since the mid 1950s, and the 
Gulf of Mexico now suffers from a 6,000 square mile ``dead zone'' as a 
result of huge quantities of pollution flowing from the Mississippi 
River. NOAA estimates that $200 million is lost annually in reduced 
fish catches due to ongoing habitat loss.
  Fourth, environmental threats to the oceans are growing 
increasingly complex. This past summer, local newspapers 
reported daily on Pfiesteria, the microalgal organism wreaking 
havoc in the Chesapeake Bay and North Carolina. Tens of 
thousands of fish have been killed and some fishermen, 
swimmers, boaters, and scientists exposed to the cell have 
experienced memory loss, skin lesions, and other troubling 
symptoms. The technical, legal, and management tools to address 
Pfiesteria may exist collectively within a variety of Federal 
and State agencies. However, there currently is no structured 
and effective means to bring this expertise to bear on the 
problem. Unfortunately, Pfiesteria is only one example of a 
larger phenomenon known as Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs). These 
blooms, including red and brown tides, affect every U.S. 
coastal state and territory, causing millions of dollars of 
lost income in the seafood and tourism industries and 
threatening public health in many instances. While we know that 
the incidence of HABs has increased significantly over the past 
30 years, our current science cannot tell us why they are 
increasing.
  Fifth, recent technological advances related to the oceans 
offer important new economic and scientific opportunities. 
Today only a small fraction of the sea has been explored, but 
what has been found is truly incredible. For example, 
hydrothermal vents--hot water geysers on the deep ocean floor--
were discovered just 20 years ago by oceanographers trying to 
understand the formation of the earth's crust. This discovery 
has since led to the identification of nearly 300 new types of 
marine animals with unknown pharmaceutical and biomedical 
potential. In addition, a greater understanding of the oceans 
could reduce the costs of natural hazards. Advanced forecasts, 
for instance, could decrease the agricultural, economic, and 
social impacts resulting from El Nino by up to $1 billion.
  Finally, international relationships regarding the oceans 
have changed significantly over the past three decades. On 
November 16, 1994, the United Nations Convention on the Law of 
the Sea entered into force for most nations of the world. 
Although the United States has accepted most provisions of the 
treaty as customary international law and 120 other nations are 
party, U.S. ratification remains in question. At issue is 
whether changes made to the treaty in 1994 adequately address 
the longstanding concerns of the United States regarding the 
seabed mining provisions. In addition, the United Nations has 
declared 1998 to be the International Year of the Ocean, 
focusing global attention on the state of the world oceans.

                          Legislative History

  Senator Hollings introduced S. 1213 on September 24, 1997, 
and the bill was referred to the Committee on Commerce, 
Science, and Transportation. S. 1213 is cosponsored by Senators 
Stevens, Kerry, Snowe, Breaux, McCain, Inouye, Kennedy, Boxer, 
Biden, Lautenberg, Akaka, Murkowski, Thurmond, and Murray.
  On November 4, 1997, S. 1213 was considered by the Committee 
in open executive session. Senator McCain offered an amendment 
to the bill to address concerns expressed by Senator Hutchison 
regarding the appointment of Commission members. The McCain 
amendment provides a substitute for the appointment process in 
the bill as introduced that would increase the size of the 
Commission to 16 members and provide for the Presidential 
appointment of Commission members directly and from lists 
submitted by the Congressional leadership. The McCain amendment 
was adopted by voice vote, and the bill, as amended, was 
unanimously adopted by voice vote.

                      Summary of Major Provisions

  Major provisions of S. 1213, as reported, include the 
following:
  National Ocean and Coastal Policy.--The bill calls for the 
development and implementation of a coherent, comprehensive, 
long-range national ocean and coastal policy to conserve and 
use sustainably fisheries and other ocean and coastal 
resources, protect the marine environment and human safety, 
explore ocean frontiers, create marine technologies and 
economic opportunities, and preserve U.S. leadership on ocean 
and coastal issues.
  Commission on Ocean Policy.--The bill establishes a 16-member 
Commission, similar to the 1966 Stratton Commission, to examine 
ocean and coastal activities and report within 18 months on 
recommendations for a national policy. In developing its 
recommendations, the Commission would assess Federal programs 
and funding priorities, ocean-related infrastructure 
requirements, conflicts among marine users, and technological 
opportunities. The bill authorizes appropriations of up to $6 
million over two years to support Commission activities. The 
Commission would cease to exist 30 days after submission of its 
final report.
  National Ocean Council.--The bill creates a high-level 
Federal interagency Council that is chaired by the Secretary of 
Commerce and includes the heads of the Departments of the Navy, 
State, Transportation, and the Interior, the EPA, the National 
Science Foundation, the Office of Science and Technology 
Policy, the Office of Management and Budget, the Council on 
Environmental Quality, the National Economic Council and such 
other agencies as the President considers to be appropriate. 
The new Council would advise the President, serve as a forum 
for developing and implementing a national ocean and coastal 
policy, provide for coordination of Federal budgets and 
programs, and work with non-Federal and international 
organizations.

                            Estimated Costs

  In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                  Washington, DC, November 6, 1997.
Hon. John McCain,
Chairman, Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, U.S. 
        Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 1213, the Oceans Act 
of 1997.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Gary Brown.
            Sincerely,
                                              James L. Blum
                                   (For June E. O'Neill, Director).
    Enclosure.

               CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE

S. 1213--Oceans Act of 1997

    Summary: The stated purpose of S. 1213 is to develop and 
maintain a coordinated, comprehensive, and long-range national 
policy with respect to ocean and coastal activities. The bill 
would repeal and take the place of the Marine Resources and 
Engineering Development Act of 1966. S. 1213 would:
          establish a Commission on Ocean Policy that would 
        examine current ocean and coastal activities and 
        recommend policies for exploring, protecting, and using 
        coastal and ocean resources;
          authorize total appropriations of $6 million for 
        fiscal years 1998 and 1999 for the commission; and
          establish a National Ocean Council to advise the 
        President and serve as a forum for developing and 
        implementing an ocean and coastal policy. The council 
        would be made up of federal officials. Federal agencies 
        and departments that are represented on the council 
        would detail employees to the council as needed.
    CBO estimates that implementing S. 1213 would result in new 
spending of $7 million over the 1998-2002 period, assuming the 
appropriation of the amounts authorized and estimated to be 
authorized by the bill. Enacting the bill would not affect 
direct spending or receipts; therefore, pay-as-you-go 
procedures would not apply. The bill contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) and would not 
significantly affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: CBO estimates 
that implementing S. 1213 would result in new spending subject 
to appropriation of about $1 million in fiscal year 1998, $3 
million in fiscal year 1999, $2 million in fiscal year 2000, 
and less than $500,000 a year thereafter. No amounts were 
appropriated in fiscal year 1997 pursuant to the statute that 
S. 123 would replace. (Similarly, no amounts are included in 
the House or Senate-passed versions of the bills making 
appropriations for 1998.) The estimated budgetary impact of S. 
1213 is shown in the following table. The costs of this 
legislation fall within budget function 300 (natural resources 
and environment).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    By fiscal years, in millions of dollars--   
                                                               -------------------------------------------------
                                                                  1998      1999      2000      2001      2002  
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION                                  
                                                                                                                
Estimated Authorization Level.................................         3         3     (\1\)     (\1\)     (\1\)
Estimated Outlays.............................................         1         3         2     (\1\)     (\1\)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Less than $500,000.                                                                                         

    Basis of estimate: For purposes of this estimate, CBO 
assumes that the bill is enacted in the next few months and 
that all amounts authorized or estimated to be authorized are 
appropriated.
    Commission. S. 1213 would authorize the appropriation of $6 
million for the commission; the estimate assumes that the 
amount would be appropriated in equal installments in 1998 and 
1999. CBO anticipates that spending by the commission would be 
slow initially (not more than $1 million in 1998), as the 
President would have up to 3 months after enactment of the bill 
to select its members, and it would take time for the work of 
the commission to get under way. The commission would report to 
the President and the Congress with its finding and 
recommendations for a comprehensive national ocean and coastal 
policy within 18 months. We anticipate that the report would be 
completed in fiscal year 2000. Each member of the 16-member 
commission who is not an officer or employee of the federal 
government, or whose compensation is not precluded by a state, 
local, or tribal government, would receive compensation. The 
commission also would be able to hire additional paid staff.
    Council. S. 1213 does not authorize appropriations for the 
proposed council. However, CBO estimates that requiring federal 
officials to serve on the council and detailing federal 
employees to work with the council would result in additional 
costs to the affected agencies of less than $500,000 a year 
beginning in fiscal year 1998, subject to the availability of 
appropriated funds. CBO estimates that the total cost of the 
council over the 1998-2002 period would be about $1 million.
    Pay-as-you-go considerations: None.
    Intergovernmental and private sector impact: The bill 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would not significantly affect the budgets 
of state, local, or tribal governments.
    Estimate prepared by: Gary Brown.
    Estimate approved by: Paul N. Van de Water, Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

    In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation, as reported.

                       Number of Persons Covered

  This legislation is intended to aid in the development of an 
updated national ocean and coastal policy and improve 
coordination among Federal agencies. It does not require new 
regulations. However, among the Commission's responsibilities 
is to review the ocean and coastal activities of Federal 
agencies and departments. Such a review could result in 
recommendations for changes in regulations that may affect the 
number of persons covered.

                            Economic Impact

  Section 6 of the reported bill authorizes appropriations 
totaling up to $6 million in fiscal year (FY) 1998 and FY 1999. 
This funding level is modest and is not expected to have an 
inflationary impact on the economy. By providing for better 
interagency coordination and cooperation, S. 1213 should 
improve the effectiveness of existing Federal programs and 
activities. The mandated budget coordination should prevent 
unnecessary duplication of effort and promote more cost-
effective use of Federal funds.

                                Privacy

  The reported bill will not have any adverse impact on the 
personal privacy of individuals.

                               Paperwork

  The reported bill requires the preparation and submission of 
biennial reports to Congress on the implementation of the 
legislation.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

Section 1. Short title

  This section states the short title of the reported bill, the 
Oceans Act of 1997.

Section 2. Congressional findings; purpose and objectives

  Subsection (a) of this section of the reported bill provides 
Congressional findings with regard to the oceans and coasts. 
The findings recognize that: (1) the oceans and coasts are of 
considerable physical, ecological, and economic importance; (2) 
ocean and coastal resources and the benefits they provide are 
affected by human activities; (3) growing coastal populations 
result in increased demands on resources and vulnerability to 
coastal hazards; (4) marine technologies create economic and 
scientific opportunities; (5) marine research has led to 
important discoveries with environmental, military, and 
scientific applications; (6) it has been thirty years since the 
last comprehensive evaluation of ocean and coastal activities; 
(7) changes over the past three decades make a review of those 
activities necessary; and (8) existing Federal programs would 
benefit from a coherent national ocean and coastal policy.
  Subsection (b) of this section specifies that the purpose of 
the reported bill is to develop a national ocean and coastal 
policy which will provide for: protection against natural and 
manmade hazards; stewardship of ocean and coastal resources; 
marine environmental protection; enhancement of marine-related 
commerce, transportation, and national security; resolution of 
marine user conflicts; improved understanding and education and 
training programs related to the oceans; investment in marine 
technologies; better Federal coordination; and the preservation 
of U.S. ocean and coastal leadership.

Section 3. Definitions

  This section of the reported bill defines the terms used 
throughout the bill. The defined terms are ``Commission'', 
``Council'', ``marine research'', ``marine environment'', 
``ocean and coastal activities'', and ``ocean and coastal 
resource''. The four latter terms are defined broadly. The term 
``marine research'' includes not only basic science but 
research and development, environmental monitoring, and data 
management activities necessary for the conservation and 
management of natural resources and for technology development. 
The term ``marine environment'' includes both the physical 
environment of the oceans and coasts and the ocean and coastal 
resources found in that environment. The term ``ocean and 
coastal activities'' encompasses both governmental and 
nongovernmental activities occurring in the marine environment. 
Finally, the term ``ocean and coastal resource'' includes 
significant historic, cultural, and aesthetic resources in 
addition to living and non-living natural resources, and it 
includes the Great Lakes.

Section 4. National ocean and coastal policy

  This section of the reported bill establishes the President's 
responsibility to develop and maintain a national ocean and 
coastal policy. Use of the words ``develop and maintain'' in 
this section is not intended to imply that the United States 
currently lacks national policies applicable in many specific 
areas related to the oceans and coasts such as national 
security; nor should this section necessarily require 
substantial changes in such existing policies, but rather their 
integration into a single coordinated, comprehensive, and long-
range national policy. This section also requires the President 
to review the ocean and coastal activities of Federal agencies 
and departments and to integrate those activities into a cost-
effective program that provides for scientific research, 
resource management, environmental protection, protection 
against natural hazards, transportation safety, and 
encouragement of sustainable businesses, recreation, and 
tourism. In implementing this Act, the President is encouraged 
to use available staff and advisory arrangements, and to work 
with individuals and organizations outside the Federal 
government that are involved in ocean and coastal activities.

Section 5. National Ocean Council

  Subsection (a) of this section of the reported bill directs 
the President to create a Federal interagency Council that is 
chairedby the Secretary of Commerce and includes the heads of 
the Departments of the Navy, State, Transportation, and the Interior, 
the EPA, the National Science Foundation, the Office of Science and 
Technology Policy, the Office of Management and Budget, the Council on 
Environmental Quality, and the National Economic Council. The President 
could appoint additional members to the Council as he considers to be 
appropriate, such as the Commandant of the United States Coast Guard 
and the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere. To 
prevent duplication of ongoing coordination activities, an existing 
interagency group, such as the Ocean Principals, could form the basis 
for Council establishment.
  Subsection (b) addresses a number of administrative issues. 
The subsection provides for designation of alternates by 
Council members and for other members to preside over Council 
meetings in the Chairman's absence. The subsection also 
authorizes the appointment of an Executive Secretary and 
directs Federal agencies and departments to provide additional 
personnel support and to undertake studies on the Council's 
behalf as appropriate.
  Subsection (c) describes the functions of the Council, which 
are to: (1) serve as the forum for ocean and coastal policy and 
program development; (2) improve coordination and cooperation 
and eliminate duplication within the Federal government; (3) 
work with ocean and coastal stakeholders in conducting periodic 
policy reviews; (4) cooperate with the Secretary of State on 
international issues; and (5) provide for coordination of 
Federal budgets and programs and prepare a biennial report. In 
serving as a Federal policy forum, the Council will have the 
capacity to provide the Commission with information and 
assistance that will be critical for the completion of its 
review and the timely development of its recommendations.

Section 6. Commission on Ocean Policy

  This section of the bill as reported directs the 
establishment of a 16-member Commission on Ocean Policy within 
90 days of enactment of this Act. Subsection (a) provides for 
appointment of Commission members. Members may be drawn from 
State and local governments, industry, academic and technical 
institutions, as well as public interest organizations involved 
with ocean and coastal activities. Appointment of at least one 
individual who is knowledgeable about coastal management issues 
at the State and local levels is particularly important, given 
the role of State and local governments in the implementation 
of any national coastal policy. In addition, the diversity, 
number, and complexity of issues that the Commission will 
address require balanced membership from a broad range of 
backgrounds.
  The Commission members will be appointed by the President as 
follows: (1) four will be appointed directly by the President; 
(2) four will be selected from a list of eight proposed members 
submitted by the Majority Leader of the Senate in consultation 
with the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, 
and Transportation; (3) four will be selected from a list of 
eight proposed members submitted by the Speaker of the House of 
Representatives in consultation with the Chairmen of the House 
Committee on Resources and the House Committee on Science; (4) 
two will be selected from a list of four proposed members 
submitted by the Minority Leader of the Senate in consultation 
with the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, 
Science, and Transportation; and (5) two will be selected from 
a list of four proposed members submitted by the Minority 
Leader of the House of Representatives in consultation with the 
Ranking Members of the House Committee on Resources and the 
House Committee on Science. The President will select a 
Chairman and Vice Chairman from among those members. In 
addition, he will appoint four Congressional advisory members, 
in consultation with the Congressional leadership. This 
appointment process should ensure bipartisan balance on the 
Commission without making political party affiliation a 
required criterion in selecting members. It also should provide 
the President with adequate flexibility in making appointments 
to the Commission to balance its membership among stakeholders.
  Subsection (b) requires the Commission to report to the 
President and the Congress with its findings and 
recommendations for a national ocean and coastal policy, and it 
outlines eight areas for Commission consideration. These areas 
are as follows: (1) existing U.S. laws, regulations, and 
practices; (2) infrastructure and human resource investments 
related to ocean and coastal activities; (3) Federal programs 
and activities; (4) interrelationships among ocean and coastal 
activities, the legal and regulatory framework in which they 
occur, and their impacts; (5) demand for ocean and coastal 
resources; (6) division of responsibility among the Federal, 
State, local, and private sectors for ocean and coastal 
activities; (7) marine-related technological or market 
opportunities; and (8) international relationships. As part of 
its review of Federal programs and activities, the Commission 
must identify any such activities in need of reform to improve 
efficiency and effectiveness in Federal operations.
  The following subsections of this section deal with a variety 
of administrative issues. Subsection (c) gives responsibility 
to the Commission Chairman for the Commission budget and for 
supervision and tasking of the Commission staff. Subsection (d) 
provides for compensation of non-Federal members while involved 
in Commission activities at the rate payable to a Federal 
employees at Level IV of the Executive Schedule. Subsection (e) 
addresses staffing issues, providing for: (1) appointment of an 
executive director; (2) salary limits on Commission personnel; 
(3) Federal employees to serve as detailees on the Commission 
staff; and (4) use of volunteers and consultants. Subsection 
(f) would exempt the Commission from the Federal Advisory 
Committee Act but would require that the public be notified of 
and permitted to attend Commission meetings, and that the 
Commission make meeting records and information it receives 
available to the public. Subsection (g) provides the Commission 
with authority to: (1) obtain information from Federal agencies 
and departments; (2) be treated as a Federal agency for the 
purposes of using the U.S. mails and securing services from the 
General Services Administration; and (3) enter into contracts.
  Subsection (h) requires the Commission to submit a final 
report to Congress and the President within 18 months. The 
subsection also would terminate the Commission 30 days after 
submission of the report
  Subsection (i) authorizes appropriations to support the 
activities of the Commission. A total of up to $6 million is 
authorized to be appropriated for FY 1998 and FY 1999, to 
remain available without fiscal year limitation until expended.

Section 7. Report and budget coordination

  Subsection (a) directs the President, through the Council, to 
transmit to Congress a biennial report describing and 
evaluating the recent activities and accomplishments of the 
United States with respect to ocean and coastal activities. The 
first report would be required in January 1999,
  Subsection (b) directs the Council to facilitate the 
coordination of federal budgets with regard to ocean and 
coastal activities. The President is directed to identify in 
each annual budget those elements of each agency or department 
budget that contribute to the implementation of a national 
ocean and coastal policy.

Section 8. Repeal of 1966 statute

  This section repeals the Marine Resources and Engineering 
Development Act of 1966. Provisions of the reported bill are 
patterned after and would replace the 1966 Act.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In the opinion of the Committee, it is necessary to 
dispense with the requirements of paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of 
the Standing Rules of the Senate to expedite the business of 
the Senate.