Interagency Working Group on Ocean Partnerships (IWG-OP)

The Interagency Working Group on Ocean Partnerships (IWG-OP) advises and assists the Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology (SOST) on matters related to ocean partnership programs, a continuation and expansion of the partnership efforts begun under NOPP.

The IWG-OP focuses on those objectives felt to be too big for any single agency, which cut across multiple missions, or require government-private-academic partnerships for success.


The Biodiversity Ad Hoc Group was formed as a sub-group of the IWG-OP in 2008. The topic of biodiversity has many applications for U.S. agencies but is too large for any one U.S. agency to take on itself. Current topics of interest include biodiversity technology and science, biodiversity metrics, indices and proxies, applications and data sharing, and international conventions and frameworks.


The IWG-OP formed the Federal Renewable Ocean Energy Working Group (FROEWG) in 2010 to address renewable ocean energy issues within the Federal community. FROEWG addresses ways to advance science and policy in support of environmentally responsible development of ocean renewable energy resources. Examples of topics of interest include developing polices and guidance for coordinated, responsible and efficient review of permits, licenses and leases; in addition, data sharing coordination between agencies and outreach to stakeholders are top priorities.


In 2012, according to the directives of Public Law 111-11, the Task Force on Ocean Exploration and Undersea Research Technology (TFORT) was established under the IWG-OP framework.  The purpose of the TFORT is to advise, assist, and make recommendations to the IWG-OP on policies, procedures, plans, and activities related to ocean exploration and undersea research technology and infrastructure.


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