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106th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     106-716

======================================================================



 
  SENSE OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES REGARDING ESTABLISHMENT OF A 
                           NATIONAL OCEAN DAY

                                _______
                                

    July 10, 2000.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Young of Alaska, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                       [To accompany H. Res. 415]

    The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the 
resolution (H. Res. 415) expressing the sense of the House of 
Representatives that there should be established a National 
Ocean Day to recognize the significant role the ocean plays in 
the lives of the Nation's people and the important role the 
Nation's people must play in the continued life of the ocean, 
having considered the same, report favorably thereon with an 
amendment and recommend that the resolution as amended be 
agreed to.
  The amendment is as follows:
  Amend the preamble to read as follows:

Whereas the oceans cover 71 percent of the Earth's surface and are key to 
the life support systems for all creatures on this planet;

Whereas the oceans contain a wondrous abundance and diversity of life, from 
the smallest microorganism to the mammoth blue whale;

Whereas \2/3\ of the world's people live within 50 miles of a coast and 1 
out of 6 American jobs are in fishing, shipping, or tourism;

Whereas the oceans provide almost limitless opportunities for exploration 
and discovery, and could supply a key source of life-saving medicines and 
treatments;

Whereas oceanography has contributed to an understanding of global climate 
change and the effects of the ocean on climate and weather, which 
inevitably has an impact on safety and quality of life;

Whereas efforts are underway to develop a new ocean monitoring system that 
will give us a better understanding of the critical relationship between 
oceans and global climate change;

Whereas a deepened understanding of the seas will enable us to track marine 
mammals, predict deadly storms such as those associated with El Nino, 
detect illegal fishing, and gain new insights into the complexities of 
climate change;

Whereas the oceans and coastal areas supply vital sources of food upon 
which people depend and that could be deteriorated by poor stewardship;

Whereas decades of pollution from industrial waste, sewage, and toxic 
runoff have taken their toll on the health of the oceans and on the marine 
life in them;

Whereas recent studies suggest that nearly 60 percent of the world's coral 
reefs, the ``rainforests of the sea'', are being degraded or destroyed by 
human activities and ten percent of the reefs may already be degraded 
beyond recovery;

Whereas fisheries and the food and products they produce are essential to 
the world's economy and steps should be taken to ensure that they do not 
become overexploited;

Whereas in the 21st century, people will look increasingly to the oceans to 
meet their everyday needs;

Whereas the oceans' resources are limited, and nations must work together 
to conserve them;

Whereas the oceans are the core of our own humanity, a treasure shared by 
all nations of the world, and our stewardship of this resource is our 
responsibility to our children, grandchildren, and all of Earth's 
inhabitants;

Whereas June 8th was declared Oceans Day at the Earth Summit Conference in 
Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and similar declarations have been made by 
individual nations;

Whereas the State of Hawaii has designated the first Wednesday of June as 
Ocean Day, in recognition of the very significant role the ocean plays in 
the lives of Hawaii's people, as well as Hawaii's culture, history, and 
traditions; and

Whereas the establishment of a National Ocean Day will raise awareness of 
the vital role oceans play in human life and that human beings must play in 
the life of the ocean: Now, therefore, be it

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H. Res. 415 is to express the sense of the 
House of Representatives that there should be established a 
National Ocean Day to recognize the significant role the ocean 
plays in the lives of the Nation's people and the important 
role the Nation's people must play in the continued life of the 
ocean.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The oceans play an increasingly important role in the lives 
of our Nation's people. Currently, more than fifty percent of 
the Nation's population live in the coastal areas of the U.S. 
and one out of six American jobs is in fishing, shipping or 
tourism. As the population grows, there will be greater demands 
on the oceans and coastal resources.
    The oceans cover 71 percent of the Earth's surface, yet 
much still needs to be learned about the oceans and the living 
marine resources contained within them. Anthropogenic and 
natural changes are taking place with regard to the oceans' 
physical properties (such as sea level rise and rises in 
temperature), and resource depletion, coral reef habitat 
degradation and harmful algal blooms are also issues which 
require attention. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration and ocean research institutions are working to 
expand our knowledge of the oceans and their resources to 
improve resource management and protect public health and 
safety. More needs to be done, however, to increase our 
understanding of the health of the ocean and the public's 
awareness of the role of the ocean in their lives.
    Internationally, there has been recognition of the 
importance of the ocean. After the Earth Summit in Rio de 
Janeiro in 1992, June 8th was declared Oceans Day and 1998 was 
declared the International Year of the Ocean. In addition, 
other nations have individually given formal recognition to 
ocean-related events in similar ways. For example, Canada has 
been active for many years in celebrating International Oceans 
Day and the Philippines has proclaimed May as the Month of the 
Ocean. In the United States, the State of Hawaii has designated 
the first Wednesday of June as Ocean Day. Declarations such as 
these are intended to draw the public's attention to the 
importance of our relationship to the ocean and, more 
significantly, to the need for responsible stewardship.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H. Res. 415 was introduced on February 2, 2000, by 
Congresswoman Patsy T. Mink (D-HI). The bill was referred to 
the Committee on Resources, and within the Committee to the 
Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans. On 
June 8, 2000, the Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill. On 
June 20, 2000, the Full Resources Committee met to consider the 
bill. The Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and 
Oceans was discharged from further consideration of the bill by 
unanimous consent. Congressman Jim Saxton (R-NJ) offered an 
amendment to clarify and update the supporting facts of the 
resolution contained in the preamble. It was adopted by voice 
vote. The bill as amended was then approved and ordered 
favorably reported to the House of Representatives.

            COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Resources' oversight findings and recommendations 
are reflected in the body of this report.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United 
States grants Congress the authority to enact this bill.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) 
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
    2. Congressional Budget Act. As required by clause 3(c)(2) 
of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this 
bill does not contain any new budget authority, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    3. Government Reform Oversight Findings. Under clause 
3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, the Committee has received no report of 
oversight findings and recommendations from the Committee on 
Government Reform on this bill.
    4. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate. Under clause 
3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974, the Committee has received the following cost estimate 
for this bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, June 28, 2000.
Hon. Don Young,
Chairman, Committee on Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman. The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H. Res. 415, expressing 
the sense of the House of Representatives that there should be 
established a National Ocean Day to recognize the significant 
role the ocean plays in the lives of the nation's people and 
the important role the nation's people must play in the 
continued life of the ocean.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Ali Aslam.
            Sincerely,
                                          Barry B. Anderson
                                    (For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
    Enclosure.

H. Res. 415--Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that 
        there should be established a National Ocean Day to recognize 
        the significant role the ocean plays in the lives of the 
        nation's people and the important role the nation's people must 
        play in the continued life of the ocean

    H. Res. 415 would express the sense of the House of 
Representatives that there should be established a National 
Ocean Day to recognize the significant role the ocean plays in 
American lives. CBO estimates that H. Res. 415 would have no 
impact on the federal budget. The legislation would not affect 
direct spending or receipts; therefore, pay-as-you-go 
procedures would not apply.
    The staff contact is Ali Aslam. This estimate was approved 
by Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant Director for Budget 
Analysis.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

               PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL, OR TRIBAL LAW

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local, or 
tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing 
law.