About the National Ocean Council

The National Ocean Council is charged with implementing the National Ocean Policy.  Membership of the NOC initially includes the following, with additional officers designated by the Co-Chairs as needed:

  • The Secretaries of: State, Defense, the Interior, Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Commerce, Labor, Transportation, Energy, and Homeland Security
  • The Attorney General
  • The Administrators of: the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • The Chairs of: The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • The Directors of: the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), National Intelligence, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • The Assistants to: the President for National Security Affairs, Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, Domestic Policy, Economic Policy, and Energy and Climate Change
  • An employee of the United States designated by the Vice President
  • The Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere (NOAA Administrator)

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is the key forum for ensuring integration and coordination on priority areas within the NOC.  It includes representatives from OSTP, CEQ, Chairs of the Ocean Resource Management Interagency Policy Committee (ORM-IPC) and Ocean Science and Technology Interagency Policy Committee (OST-IPC), and the Director of the NOC Office.

Ocean Resource Management Interagency Policy Committee

The ORM-IPC functions as the ocean resource management body of the NOC, with an emphasis on ensuring the interagency implementation of the National Policy, national priority objectives, and other priorities defined or approved by the NOC. Chairs of the ORM-IPC are designated by the NOC and the Committee will consist of Deputy Assistant Secretaries or comparable representatives, or appropriate senior-level representatives with decision-making authority from departments, agencies and offices represented on the NOC.

Ocean Science and Technology Interagency Policy Committee

The OST-IPC functions as the ocean science and technology body of the NOC, with an emphasis on ensuring the interagency implementation of the National Policy, national priority objectives, and other priorities for science and technology objectives.  Chairs of the OST-IPC are appointed through the National Science and Technology Council procedures in consultation with the NOC, and the Committee will consist of Deputy Assistant Secretaries or comparable representatives, or appropriate senior-level representatives with decision-making authority from departments, agencies, and offices represented on the NOC.

Click here to read the 2013 Federal Oceanographic Fleet Status Report.

Governance Coordinating Committee

The Governance Coordinating Committee (GCC) includes 18 state, local, and tribal representatives from across the United States who serve as a coordinating body on inter-jurisdictional ocean policy issues. GCC members bring diverse experience on state, local, and tribal policy issues and are a critical component of the National Ocean Council. GCC members serve two-year terms.

Ocean Research Advisory Panel

The Ocean Research Advisory Panel (ORAP) was formed to advise the National Ocean Research Leadership Council (NORLC).  The National Ocean Council Deputy-level Committee has assumed the duties of the statutorily mandated NORLC.  Membership of ORAP consists of individuals from the National Academies, state government, academia, and ocean industries, representing marine science, marine policy, and other related fields.  The ORAP is an advisory committee under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), and is the only FACA body chartered to advise all the “ocean agencies.”  The National Ocean Policy Executive Order (13547)  designated ORAP to “provide independent advice and guidance” to the Cabinet-level National Ocean Council.

National Ocean Council Implementation Plan
Final Recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force
Executive Order Establishing National Ocean Council