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Meetings

U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy—Boston Regional Hearing and Briefings in Woods Hole


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Ocean Commissioners and staff being briefed
Ocean Commissioners and staff being briefed in Woods Hole, MA, by Debbie Hutchinson before the Ocean Commission hearings in Boston.
In August 2000, the U.S. Congress passed the Oceans Act of 2000, which established a 16-member Commission on Ocean Policy (Ocean Commission) to undertake a study and make recommendations to the President and Congress about a national ocean policy for the United States. After two meetings in Washington, DC, the commission embarked on a series of regional meetings to gather information for its formidable charge. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Director Chip Groat was one of the lead speakers to the commission at its regional meeting in February 2002 in St. Petersburg, FL. The most recent regional meeting, held in Boston, MA, in historic Faneuil Hall in July 2002, included a visit to the USGS' Woods Hole Field Center (WHFC).

As a precursor to the Boston hearings, five commission members visited the Woods Hole science community. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) hosted the commissioners by holding a series of four short poster-display briefings. The USGS poster briefing, which was delivered by Debbie Hutchinson (WHFC), was entitled "Stewardship of the Oceans—the Important Role of Sea-Floor Geology." Debbie's presentation emphasized Chip's earlier message to the Ocean Commission on the importance of integrated science in doing research needed to address societal issues. Debbie talked about four themes (monitoring, exploration, prediction, and information), with examples of USGS studies in the Northeastern United States as models for studies in all parts of the Nation.

WHOI Director Bob Gagosian then proceeded to further highlight the importance of USGS research in the Boston Harbor restoration efforts underway since the mid-1980s. Two poster briefings were given by WHOI, emphasizing global climate change and ocean exploration; and the fourth briefing was by scientists of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s National Marine Fisheries Service on marine biological and fisheries issues.

After the briefings, commission members were taken on a tour of the community and attended an elegant reception and dinner hosted by Bob Gagosian and his wife for the commissioners, their staff, and the heads of the various institutions and scientific organizations in the Woods Hole community.

Chip Groat's statement to the Ocean Commission (92KB PDF file) at its regional meeting in St. Petersburg, FL, in February 2002 can be found on the World Wide Web. Transcripts of the Boston hearings held in July 2002 are also available. General information about the Ocean Commission is available at the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy Web site.


Related Web Sites
Woods Hole Field Center
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Woods Hole, MA
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
non-profit research facility
U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy
U.S. Federal Government
Statement to the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy - Dr. Charles G. Groat (92KB PDF file)
U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy
Northeast Regional Meeting - July 23-24, 2002
U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy

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