National Oceanographic Partnership Act

(PL 104-201, 10 USC 7901-7903)

The NOPP Act was authorized under the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997.  The full text of this bill may also be found on the Congressional website.

SEC. 281. FINDINGS.

Congress finds the following:

(1) The oceans and coastal areas of the United States are among the Nation’s most valuable natural resources, making substantial contributions to economic growth, quality of life, and national security.

(2) Oceans drive global and regional climate. Hence, they contain information affecting agriculture, fishing, and the prediction of severe weather.

(3) Understanding of the oceans through basic and applied research is essential for using the oceans wisely and protecting their limited resources. Therefore, the United States should maintain its world leadership in oceanography as one key to its competitive future.

(4) Ocean research and education activities take place within Federal agencies, academic institutions, and industry. These entities often have similar requirements for research facilities, data, and other resources (such as oceanographic research vessels).

(5) The need exists for a formal mechanism to coordinate existing partnerships and establish new partnerships for the sharing of resources, intellectual talent, and facilities in the ocean sciences and education, so that optimal use can be made of this most important natural resource for the well-being of all Americans.

SEC. 282. NATIONAL OCEANOGRAPHIC PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM.

(a) PROGRAM REQUIRED.–

(1) Subtitle C of title 10, United State Code, is amended by adding after chapter 663 the following new chapter:

“CHAPTER 665–NATIONAL OCEANOGRAPHIC PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM

Sec. 7901. National Oceanographic Partnership Program

(a) ESTABLISHMENT.–The Secretary of the Navy shall establish a program to be known as the ‘National Oceanographic Partnership Program’.

(b) PURPOSES.–The purposes of the program are as follows:

(1) To promote the national goals of assuring national security, advancing economic development, protecting quality of life, and strengthening science education and communication through improved knowledge of the ocean.

(2) To coordinate and strengthen oceanographic efforts in support of those goals by–

(A) identifying and carrying out partnerships among Federal agencies, academia, industry, and other members of the oceanographic scientific community in the areas of data, resources, education, and communication; and

(B) reporting annually to Congress on the program.

Sec. 7902. National Ocean Research Leadership Council

(a) COUNCIL.–There is a National Ocean Research Leadership Council (hereinafter in this chapter referred to as the ‘Council’).

(b) MEMBERSHIP.–The Council is composed of the following members:

(1) The Secretary of the Navy.

(2) The Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

(3) The Director of the National Science Foundation.

(4) The Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

(5) The Deputy Secretary of Energy.

(6) The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

(7) The Commandant of the Coast Guard.

(8) The Director of the Geological Survey of the Department of the Interior.

(9) The Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

(10) The Director of the Minerals Management Service of the Department of the Interior.

(11) The Director of the Office of Science and Technology.

(12) The Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

(c) CHAIRMAN AND VICE CHAIRMAN. —

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), the chairman and vice chairman of the Council shall be appointed every two years by a selection committee of the Council composed of, at a minimum, the Secretary of the Navy, the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Director of the National Science Foundation. The term of office of the chairman and vice chairman shall be two years. A person who has previously served as chairman of vice chairman may be reappointed.

(2) The first chairman of the Council shall be the Secretary of the Navy. The first vice chairman of the Council shall by the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

(d) RESPONSIBILITIES.– The Council shall have the following responsibilities:

(1) To prescribe policies and procedures to implement the National Oceanographic Partnership Program.

(2) To review, select, and identify and allocate funds for partnership projects or implementation under the program, based on the following criteria:

(A) Whether the project addresses critical research objectives or operational goals, such as data accessibility and quality assurance, sharing of resources, education, or communication.

(B) Whether the project has broad participation within the oceanographic community.

(C) Whether the partners have a long-term commitment to the objectives of the project.

(D) Whether the resources supporting the project are shared among the partners.

(E) Whether the project has been subjected to adequate peer review.

(3) To assess whether there is a need for facility (of facilities) to provide national centralization of oceanographic data, and to establish such a facility of facilities if determined necessary. In conducting the assessment, the Council shall review, at a minimum, the following:

(A) The need for a national oceanographic data center.

(B) The need for a national coastal data center

(C) Accessibility by potential users of such centers.

(D) Preexisting facilities and expertise.

(e) ANNUAL REPORT.– Not later than March 1 of each year, the Council shall submit to Congress a report on the National Oceanographic Partnership Program. The report shall contain the following:

(1) A description of activities of the program carried out during the fiscal year before the fiscal year in which the report is prepared, together with a list of the members of the Ocean Research Advisory Panel and any working groups in existence during the fiscal year covered.

(2) A general outline of the activities planned for the program during the fiscal year in which the report is prepared.

(3) A summary of projects continued from the fiscal year before the fiscal year in which the report is prepared and projects expected to be started during the fiscal year in which the report is prepared and during the following fiscal year.

(4) A description of the involvement of the program with Federal interagency coordinating entities.

(5) The amounts requested, in the budget submitted to Congress pursuant to section 1105(a) of title 31 for the fiscal year following the fiscal year in which the report is prepared, for the programs, projects, and activities of the program and the estimated expenditures under such programs, projects, and activities during such following fiscal year.

(f) PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM OFFICE.–

(1) The Council shall establish a partnership program office for the National Oceanographic Partnership Program. The Council shall use competitive procedures in selecting an operator for the partnership program office.

(2) The Council shall assign the following duties to the partnership program office:

(A) To establish and oversee working groups to propose partnership projects to the Council and advise the Council on such projects.

(B) To manage the process for proposing partnership projects to the Council, including managing peer review of such projects.

(C) To submit to the Council an annual report on the status of all partnership projects and activities of the office.

(D) Any additional duties for the administration of the National Oceanographic Partnership Program that the Council considers appropriate.

(3) The Council shall supervise the performance of duties by the partnership program office.

(g) CONTRACT AND GRANT AUTHORITY.– The Council may authorize one or more of the departments or agencies represented on the Council to enter into contracts and make grants, using funds appropriated pursuant to an authorization for the National Oceanographic Partnership Program, for the purpose of implementing the program and carrying out the responsibilities of the Council.

(h) ESTABLISHMENT AND FORMS OF PARTNERSHIP PROJECTS.–

(1) A partnership project under the National Oceanographic Partnership Program may be established by any instrument that the Council considers appropriate, including memoranda of understanding, a cooperative research and development agreements, and similar instrument.

(2) Projects under the program may include demonstration projects.

Sec. 7903. Ocean Research Advisory Panel

(a) Establishment.–The Council shall establish an Ocean Research Advisory Panel consisting of not less than 10 and not more than 18 members appointed by the chairman, including the following:

(1) One member who will represent the National Academy of Sciences.

(2) One member who will represent the National Academy of Engineering

(3) One member who will represent the Institute of Medicine.

(4) Members selected from among individuals who will represent the views of ocean industries, State governments, academia, and such other views as the chairman considers appropriate.

(5) Members selected from among individuals eminent in the fields of marine science or marine policy, or related fields.

(b) Responsibilities.–The Council shall assign the following responsibilities to the Advisory Panel:

(1) To advise the Council on policies and procedures to implement the National Oceanographic Partnership Program.

(2) To advise the Council on selection of partnership projects and allocation of funds for partnership projects for implementation under the program.

(3) To advise the Council on matters relating to national oceanographic data requirements.

(4) Any additional responsibilities that the Council considers appropriate.

(c) Funding.–The Secretary of the Navy annually shall make funds available to support the activities of the Advisory Panel.”

 

(2) The table of chapters at the beginning of subtitle C of title 10, United States Code, and at the beginning of part IV of such subtitle, are each amended by inserting after the item relating to chapter 663 the following:

“665. National Oceanographic Partnership Program……7901”.

(b) INITIAL APPOINTMENTS OF ADVISORY PANEL MEMBERS.–The National Ocean Research Leadership Council established by section 7902 of title 10, United States Code, as added by subsection (a)(1), shall make the appointments required by section 7904 of such title not later than January 1, 1998.

(c) FIRST ANNUAL REPORT OF NATIONAL OCEAN RESEARCH LEADERSHIP COUNCIL.–The first annual report required by section 7902(f) of title 10, United States Code, as added by subsection (a)(1), shall be submitted to Congress not later than March 1, 1997. The first report shall include, in addition to the information required by such section, information about the terms of office, procedures, and responsibilities of the Ocean Research Advisory Panel established by the Council.

(d) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.–

(1) Of the amount authorized to the Department of the Navy by section 201(2), $13,000,000 shall be available for the National Oceanographic Partnership Program established pursuant to section 7901 of title 10, United States Code, as added by subsection (a)(1).

(2) Of the amount authorized to be appropriated to the Department of the Navy by section 301(2), $7,500,000 shall be available for such program.

(e) FUNDING FOR PROGRAM OFFICE – Of the amount appropriated for the National Oceanographic Partnership Program for fiscal year 1997, at least $500,000, or 3 percent of the amount appropriated, whichever is greater, shall be available for operations of the partnership program office established pursuant to section 7903(g) of title 10, United States Code as added by subsection (a)(1), for such fiscal year.

The full text of this bill may also be found here.