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Marine Policy

The Center has provided or is providing policy analysis assistance or scientific advice to a number of national agencies in the United States and to a variety of international entities. Some examples are noted below.

U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy

The Center provides policy advice in several areas to the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, the federally-mandated government commission charged with completing a holistic review of the way the U.S. manages and governs its oceans. The finished report, expected in early 2004, should provide a series of policy recommendations for more comprehensive and cohesive management of our ocean areas. The Center has consulted on several projects related to the work of the Commission, with a special emphasis on ocean governance.

National Dialogues on Ocean and Coastal Policy, National Ocean Service, NOAA

The Center provided policy advice on national ocean policy and on the design of a series of national dialogues on the subject in 1998-1999.

International Program Office (IPO), NOS/NOAA

The Center has cooperated with IPO on several projects in the period 1998-2000, including the design and operation of the Global Web Service on ICM; work on navigation issues involving the International Maritime Organization; and conduct of the COSU 2000 conference North American and European Perspectives on Ocean and Coastal Policy, held in Cancun, Mexico, November 1-4, 2000.


The Maritime Administration


The Center assisted the Maritime Administration in an interagency effort to help resolve and mitigate environmental disputes associated with the dredging of major U.S. ports and waterways.


The National Ocean Service, Coastal Ocean Policy Roundtable

Professor Knecht has administered (and chaired) the Coastal Ocean Policy Roundtable, a group of external experts providing advice to NOAA/NOS on a range of ocean and coastal management issues.


NOAA National Estuarine Research Reserve Program

Professor Knecht organized and chaired an external review of this program, involving field visits and analysis by a number of experts. Center staff produced the final report of this assessment, charting recommended future directions for the program.

National Research Council
Center researchers have been and continue to be very involved in two major entities of the National Research Council: the Marine Board and the Ocean Studies Board, as well as in a committee of the Ocean Studies Board on improving interactions between science and policy. This committee (co-chaired by Professor Cicin-Sain) organized three regional symposia that brought together natural scientists, social scientists, and decision makers to address a range of regional environmental issues in the Gulf of Mexico region, the Gulf of Maine region, and the Pacific coast region, and produced a set of recommendations for improving the scientific content of coastal policy. For more information, see National Research Council, Science, Policy and the Coast: Improving Decision Making (1995).
Professor Knecht participated as a member of the Marine Board committee which produced the report suggesting improvements to the U.S. system of ocean governance (National Research Council, Striking a Balance: Improving Stewardship of Marine Areas, 1997). Professor Cicin-Sain served as the Marine Board's liaison to the committee.


The U.S. Country Studies Program in Support of the Framework Convention on Climate Change

Center researchers assisted the program in the conduct of country studies in Fiji and Western Samoa. The Center also collaborated with the U.S. Country Studies Program and the NOAA/NOS Office of International Affairs in the conduct of a major conference on integrated coastal management in the context of the Framework Convention on Climate Change, held in Taiwan in February 1997. Attended by participants from 36 nations, the Conference produced a set of ICM guidelines in relation to climate change.


Other Advisory Activities with U.S. Agencies

Other advisory activities include involvement in the Department of Interior's Scientific Advisory Committee on the Outer Continental Shelf; participation in a strategic review of the U.S. National Marine Sanctuaries Program, involvement in the Atlantic Marine Fisheries Commission; and assistance to Delaware's Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control in connection with its National Estuarine Research Reserve program.


Examples of Advisory Activities with International Entities

Independent World Commission on the Oceans
Patterned after the Bruntland Commission on Environment and Development and chaired by Dr. Mario Soares (former President of Portugal), the Commission examined the current status of world ocean governance, making recommendations for reform in existing institutional frameworks. Professor Cicin-Sain participated in the work of the Commission's Science and Policy expert group in Lisbon, in March 1997 and in the final session of the Commission in Lisbon in September 1998.

Marine Commission of the International Geographical Union (IGU)
Professor Cicin-Sain is a member of the Marine Commission of the IGU. The Commission organizes conferences and publications related to ocean and coastal management and science on behalf of the IGU.

Middle East Technical University, Turkey
Professors Knecht and Cicin-Sain worked with Middle East Technical University in the setting up of MEDCOAST, which has organized a Mediterranean-wide effort to bring together, on a periodic basis, scholars from a variety of disciplines working on coastal management.

World Bank
Professor Knecht, together with several other experts, participated in the development of the World Bank's guidelines on integrated coastal management in 1993.



Gerard J. Mangone Center for Marine Policy
301 Robinson Hall, University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716 USA
Phone: 1-302-831-8086; Fax: 1-302-831-3668