Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (11/13/1997)

Oceans Act of 1997 - Directs the President to develop and maintain a coordinated, comprehensive, and long-range national policy, consistent with U.S. international obligations, on ocean and coastal activities and, regarding Federal agencies and departments, to review ocean and coastal activities, plan and implement an integrated and cost-effective program of ocean and coastal activities, designate responsibility for funding and conducting ocean and coastal activities, and ensure cooperation and resolve differences arising from laws and regulations.

(Sec. 5) Establishes the National Ocean Council to serve as the forum for developing a national policy and program, improve coordination and cooperation among Federal agencies, and take other actions. Terminates the Council one year after submission of its final report.

(Sec. 6) Establishes the Commission on Ocean Policy, requiring it to report to the President and the Congress on a comprehensive national ocean and coastal policy to carry out the purpose and objectives of this Act. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 7) Directs the President to report to the Congress biennially on ocean and coastal activities, budgets, and accomplishments. Directs the President to annually provide general guidance to each Federal agency or department involved in coastal activities regarding the preparation of appropriations requests. Requires each such agency or department to include with its annual appropriations request a report identifying budget elements relating to ocean and coastal activities and specifying how each element contributes to the implementation of a national ocean and coastal policy.

(Sec. 8) Repeals the Marine Resources and Engineering Development Act of 1966.