(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
“(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.”
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