To create the National Endowment for the Oceans to promote
the protection and conservation of United States ocean, coastal, and
Great Lakes ecosystems, and for other purposes.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
May 12, 2011
Mr. WHITEHOUSE (for himself, Ms. SNOWE, Mr. ROCKEFELLER, Mr. NELSON
of Florida, Ms. LANDRIEU, and Ms. STABENOW) introduced the following
bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce,
Science, and Transportation
To create the National Endowment for the Oceans to promote
the protection and conservation of United States ocean, coastal, and
Great Lakes ecosystems, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.
(a) Short Title- This Act may be cited as the `National Endowment for
the Oceans Act'.
(b) Table of Contents- The table of contents for this Act is as follows:
Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 5. National Endowment for the Oceans.
Sec. 8. National Endowment for the Oceans Council.
SEC. 2. PURPOSES.
The purposes of this Act are to protect, conserve, restore, and understand
the oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes of the United States, ensuring present
and future generations will benefit from the full range of ecological,
economic, educational, social, cultural, nutritional, and recreational
opportunities and services these resources are capable of providing.
SEC. 3. FINDINGS.
Congress finds the following:
(1) Covering more than two-thirds of the Earth's surface, the oceans
and Great Lakes sustain a large part of Earth's biodiversity, provide
an important source of food and other natural products, act as a frontier
for scientific exploration, are critical to national security and
economic well-being, and are a vital means of transportation.
(2) The coastal regions of the United States have high biological
productivity and contribute approximately 50 percent of the gross
domestic product of the United States.
(3) The oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes are susceptible to change
as a direct and indirect result of human activities, which can inhibit
ecosystem integrity and productivity, biodiversity, environmental
quality, national security, economic competitiveness, availability
of energy, resistance to natural hazards, and transportation safety
(4) Human pressure on ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources is
drastically increasing, with 50 percent of the population of the United
States living within 50 miles of the coast and, if population trends
continue as expected, coastal development and urbanization impacts
will present serious challenges and increase our vulnerability to
(5) The oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes, and their resources are held
in trust for the people of the United States by Federal, State, local,
and tribal governments, and their conservation benefits present and
(6) A variety of human activities have caused dramatic declines in
the health and productivity of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems
of the United States, including--
(A) chemical, nutrient, thermal, and biological pollution, including
the introduction of invasive species, and the introduction of marine
(B) unwise land use and coastal development;
(C) loss and degradation of habitat, including upstream freshwater
habitat for anadromous, diadromous, and migratory fish species;
(D) overfishing and bycatch of nontarget marine species; and
(E) global climate change and ocean acidification.
(7) Activities harming ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems
jeopardize the economies and social structure of communities dependent
on resources from such ecosystems.
(8) While there is an abundance of Federal, State, local, and tribal
laws, government agencies, and programs designed to study, observe,
protect, and manage ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources, activities
thereunder are poorly coordinated and do not constitute a unified
and comprehensive public policy to enhance understanding, protection,
conservation, and restoration of the oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes.
(9) Improving and coordinating Federal governance will require close
partnership with States, taking into account their public trust responsibilities,
their economic and ecological interests in ocean, coastal, and Great
Lakes resources, and the role of State and local governments in the
implementation of policies governing their use.
(10) It is the continuing mission of the Federal Government to create,
foster, and maintain conditions, incentives, policies, and programs
that will facilitate the sustainable and effective conservation, management,
and protection of the oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes, and encourage
greater scientific understanding of these areas, to fulfill the responsibility
of each generation as trustee in protecting the resources in these
areas and ensuring their availability for future generations.
(11) The oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes of the United States, and
their resources are dependent upon and connected to those of other
countries throughout the world, and collaboration with international
bodies and governments will help protect and manage our shared and
linked marine ecosystems and resources for the benefit of the world's
(12) Programs that facilitate greater collaboration and coordination
among stakeholders and strengthen the relationship between governmental
and nongovernmental partners will support our understanding of complex
ecosystems and more effectively leverage existing resources and expertise.
(13) Supporting science, research, monitoring, modeling, forecasting,
exploration, and assessment will continually improve the understanding
of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems.
SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS.
(1) COASTAL POPULATION- The term `coastal population' means the population
of all political subdivisions, as determined by the most recent official
data of the Census Bureau, contained in whole or in part within the
designated coastal boundary of a State as defined in a State's coastal
zone management program under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972
(16 U.S.C. 1451 et seq.) as of the date of enactment of this Act.
(2) COASTAL STATE- The term `coastal State' has the meaning given
the term `coastal state' in section 304 of the Coastal Zone Management
Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1453).
(3) COUNCIL- The term `Council' means the National Endowment for the
Oceans Council established under section 8.
(4) ENDOWMENT- The term `Endowment' means the National Endowment for
the Oceans established under section 5.
(5) INDIAN TRIBE- The term `Indian tribe' has the meaning given that
term in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance
Act (25 U.S.C. 450b).
(6) LOCAL GOVERNMENT- The term `local government' means a political
subdivision all or part of which is within a coastal zone (as defined
in section 304 of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C.
(7) OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF- The term `outer Continental Shelf' has
the meaning given that term in section 2 of the Outer Continental
Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331).
(8) REGIONAL PLANNING BODY- The term `regional planning body' means
a regional entity that includes representatives of Federal and State
agencies and, if applicable, Indian tribes and indigenous community
representatives, with jurisdictional responsibilities or other interests
(such as resource management, science, homeland and national security,
transportation, and public health) for the development and implementation
of regional coordination and planning to understand, protect, maintain,
and restore ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems.
(9) SECRETARY- Except as otherwise specifically provided, the term
`Secretary' means the Secretary of Commerce.
(10) TIDAL SHORELINE- The term `tidal shoreline' has the meaning given
that term pursuant to section 923.110(c)(2)(i) of title 15, Code of
Federal Regulations or a similar successor regulation.
SEC. 5. NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE OCEANS.
(a) Establishment- There is established in the Treasury of the United
States a National Endowment for the Oceans, to be administered by the
Secretary, solely for use in accordance with the requirements established
under this Act.
(b) Use of Endowment Funds- Of the amounts deposited in the Endowment
for each fiscal year--
(1) at least 49 percent shall be used by the Secretary to make grants
to coastal States and affected Indian tribes under section 7(b);
(2) at least 19 percent shall be used by the Secretary to make grants
to regional planning bodies under section 7(c);
(3) at least 29 percent shall be allocated by the Secretary to the
National Grant Program for Oceans, Coasts, and Great Lakes established
by section 7(d); and
(4) not more than 3 percent may be used for administrative expenses
to carry out the programs created under this Act.
(1) INTEREST ON OSLTF INVESTMENTS-
(A) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, amounts
credited under section 9602(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986
to the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund established under section
9509(a) of such Code for any fiscal year beginning after fiscal
year 2011 in which the average daily balance of the Fund is $1,500,000,000
or more shall be transferred to the Endowment.
(B) AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS- Amounts transferred to the Endowment
under subparagraph (A) shall be available--
(i) not later than 90 days after the last day of a fiscal year
for use during the next following fiscal year; and
(ii) as provided in appropriations Acts.
(2) OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF LEASE REVENUE- Section 8 of the Outer
Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1337) is amended by adding
at the end the following:
`(q) Deposits in the National Endowment for the Oceans-
`(1) IN GENERAL- Beginning with fiscal year 2011, the Secretary shall
deposit 12.5 percent of the revenue paid to the United States under
this section, excluding any such revenue from Arctic drilling that
begins after the date of the enactment of the National Endowment for
the Oceans Act, in the National Endowment for the Oceans established
by section 5(a) of that Act.
`(2) AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS- Amounts deposited in the Endowment under
paragraph (1) shall be available as provided in appropriations Acts.'.
(3) FINES COLLECTED FOR VIOLATIONS OF FEDERAL LAW-
(A) IN GENERAL- Beginning with fiscal year 2011, the President shall
ensure that 10 percent of the civil penalties paid to the United
States for a violation of a law set out under subparagraph (B) or
for a violation of any requirement or prohibition of any rule, order,
or permit promulgated, issued, or approved under such a law that
occurs on the outer Continental Shelf are deposited in the Endowment.
(B) LAWS- The laws set out under this subparagraph are the following:
(i) The Federal Water Pollution Control Act (commonly referred
to as the `Clean Water Act') (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.) other than
penalties provided for under section 311 of such Act (33 U.S.C.
(ii) The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and
Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.).
(iii) The Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of
1972 (commonly known as the `Ocean Dumping Act') (33 U.S.C. 1401
(iv) The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.).
(v) Chapter 601 of title 49, United States Code.
(vi) The Act of March 3, 1899 (30 Stat. 1151, chapter 425; 33
U.S.C. 401 et seq.).
(C) AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS- Amounts deposited in the Endowment under
subparagraph (A) shall be available as provided in appropriations
(4) SPLIT RECOVERY FROM PUNITIVE DAMAGE AWARDS-
(A) IN GENERAL- In all Federal civil actions arising from a tort
allegedly occurring on the outer Continental Shelf resulting in
an award of punitive damages, 25 percent of the amount of punitive
damages awarded in excess of $100,000 shall be remitted to the Endowment.
(B) AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS- Amounts remitted to the Endowment pursuant
to subparagraph (A) shall available without further appropriation
or fiscal year limitation.
(d) Investment of Endowment-
(1) IN GENERAL- It shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury
to invest such portion of the Endowment that is not, in the Secretary's
judgment, required to meet current withdrawals, in interest-bearing
obligations of the United States in accordance with section 9602 of
the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
(2) INTEREST ON CERTAIN PROCEEDS- The interest on, and the proceeds
from the sale or redemption of, any obligations invested under paragraph
(1) shall be credited to and form a part of the Endowment.
(e) Authorization of Appropriations- Beginning with fiscal year 2015,
there is authorized to be appropriated to the Endowment for any fiscal
year in which the sum of the amounts authorized to be transferred to,
and deposited in, the Endowment under this section is estimated to be
less than $100,000,000, an amount equal to the difference between $100,000,000
and the estimated amount of such transfers and deposits for such fiscal
(f) Savings Provision- Nothing in this section shall decrease the amount
any State may receive pursuant to section 8(g) of the Outer Continental
Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1337(g)) or section 105 of the Gulf of Mexico
Energy Security Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-432; 43 U.S.C. 1331 note).
SEC. 6. ELIGIBLE USES.
(a) In General- Amounts in the Endowment may be allocated by the Secretary
only to fund grants for programs and activities intended to restore,
protect, maintain, or understand living marine resources and their habitats
and ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources, including baseline scientific
research, ocean observing, and other programs and activities carried
out in coordination with Federal and State departments or agencies,
that are consistent with Federal environmental laws and that avoid environmental
(1) ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes restoration and protection, including
the protection of the environmental integrity of such areas, and their
related watersheds, including efforts to adapt to and withstand the
impacts of global climate change;
(2) restoration, protection, or maintenance of living ocean, coastal,
and Great Lakes resources and their habitats, including marine protected
areas and riparian migratory habitat of coastal and marine species;
(3) planning for and managing coastal development to minimize the
loss of life and property associated with global climate change and
the coastal hazards resulting from global climate change;
(4) analyses of current and anticipated climate change and ocean acidification
and assessment of potential actions to minimize harm to ocean, coastal,
and Great Lakes ecosystems from climate change and ocean acidification;
(5) analyses of, and planning for, current and anticipated uses of
ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes areas and identification of areas
most suitable for various types of classes of activities and for restoration,
protection, and maintenance of ecosystem health and to reduce conflicts
among uses, reduce environmental impacts, facilitate compatible uses,
and preserve critical ecosystem services to meet economic, environmental,
security, and social objectives;
(6) regional, subregional, and site-specific management efforts designed
to manage, protect, or restore ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources
(7) research, assessment, monitoring, observation, modeling, and sharing
of information that contribute to the understanding of ocean, coastal,
and Great Lakes ecosystems and support the purposes of this Act;
(8) efforts to better understand the processes that govern the fate
and transport of petroleum hydrocarbons released into the marine environment
from natural and anthropogenic sources, including spills;
(9) acquiring property or interests in property in coastal and estuarine
areas, if such property or interest is acquired in a manner that will
ensure such property or interest will be administered to support the
purposes of this Act; and
(10) protection and relocation of critical coastal public infrastructure
affected by erosion, sea level rise, or impacts of global climate
(b) Requirement for State Matching Funds- Any amount from the Endowment
provided to fund a project described in paragraph (9) or (10) of subsection
(a) may not exceed 50 percent of the total project cost and may only
be provided if the State in which such project will be carried out provides
the remainder of the total project cost.
(c) Considerations for Great Lakes States- Programs and activities funded
in Great Lakes States shall also seek to attain the goals embodied in
the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Plan, the Great Lakes Regional
Collaboration Strategy, the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, or
other collaborative planning efforts of the Great Lakes Region.
SEC. 7. GRANT PROGRAMS.
(a) Authority of the Secretary- The Secretary, in consultation with
the Secretary of the Interior, the Administrator of the Environmental
Protection Agency, the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality,
the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the
Director of the National Science Foundation, shall establish and make
available for public comment--
(1) application and review procedures for the grant programs described
in subsections (b), (c), and (d), including requirements ensuring
that any amounts provided pursuant to such programs may only be used
for an eligible use described under section 6;
(2) performance accountability and monitoring measures for programs
and activities funded by a grant program described in subsections
(b), (c), or (d);
(3) procedures and methods to ensure accurate accounting and appropriate
administration for each of the grant programs described in subsections
(b), (c), or (d), including standards of record keeping;
(4) procedures to carry out audits of the Endowment as necessary,
but not less frequently than once every 5 years; and
(5) procedures to carry out audits of the recipients of grants under
subsection (b), (c), or (d), including States.
(b) Grants to Coastal States-
(1) IN GENERAL- Subject to paragraphs (2), (3), and (4), the Secretary
shall make grants of amounts allocated under section 5(c)(1) to coastal
States or affected Indian tribes, based on the following formula:
(A) Fifty percent of the funds are allocated equally among coastal
States that have a coastal management program approved under the
Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1451 et seq.).
(B) Twenty-five percent of the funds are allocated on the basis
of the ratio of tidal shoreline miles in a coastal State to the
tidal shoreline miles of all coastal States.
(C) Twenty-five percent of the funds are allocated on the basis
of the ratio of coastal population density of a coastal State to
the coastal population density of all coastal States.
(2) ALLOCATION TO INDIAN TRIBES- Amounts allocated under paragraph
(1)(A) shall be allocated to affected Indian tribes based on, and
directly proportional to, any specific coastal and ocean management
authority granted to an affected tribe pursuant to affirmation of
a Federal reserved right.
(3) MAXIMUM ALLOCATION TO STATES- Notwithstanding paragraph (1), not
more than 10 percent of the total funds distributed under this subsection
may be allocated to any single State. Any amount exceeding this limit
shall be redistributed among the remaining States according to the
formula established under paragraph (1).
(4) MAXIMUM ALLOCATION TO CERTAIN GEOGRAPHIC AREAS-
(A) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding paragraph (1), each geographic area
described in subparagraph (B) may not receive more than 1 percent
of the total funds distributed under this subsection. Any amount
exceeding this limit shall be redistributed among the remaining
States according to the formula established under paragraph (1).
(B) GEOGRAPHIC AREAS DESCRIBED- The geographic areas described in
this subparagraph are the following:
(ii) The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
(5) REQUIREMENT TO SUBMIT PLANS- To be eligible to receive a grant
under this subsection, a coastal State or Indian tribe shall submit,
and the Secretary shall review--
(A) a 5-year plan, which shall include--
(i) a prioritized list of goals the coastal State or Indian tribe
intends to achieve during the time period covered by the 5-year
(ii) identification and general descriptions of existing State
projects or activities that contribute to realization of such
goals, including a description of the entities conducting those
projects or activities;
(iii) general descriptions of projects or activities, consistent
with the eligible uses described in section 6 and existing Federal
ocean policy, that could contribute to realization of such goals;
(iv) criteria to determine eligibility for entities which may
receive grants under this program; and
(v) a description of the competitive process the coastal State
or Indian tribe will use in allocating funds received from the
Endowment, which shall include--
(I) a description of the relative roles in the State competitive
process of the State coastal zone management program approved
under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1451
et seq.) and any State Sea Grant Program; and
(II) a demonstration that such competitive process is consistent
with the application and review procedures established by the
Secretary pursuant to the authority set forth in subsection
(B) an annual work plan which shall include--
(i) a detailed, specific, prioritized list of projects or activities
to be funded by the Endowment, and desired outcomes of those projects
(ii) for each project or activity, a description of how such project
or activity is consistent with the eligible uses of the Endowment;
(iii) for each project or activity, a schedule for completion
and a description of how such project or activity helps achieve
the goals established in the applicable 5-year plan.
(6) OPPORTUNITY FOR PUBLIC COMMENT- In determining whether to approve
a plan described in paragraph (5)(A), the Secretary shall provide
the opportunity for, and take into consideration, public input and
comment on the plan.
(A) IN GENERAL- Not later than 90 days after receiving a 5-year
plan or annual work plan from a coastal State or Indian tribe, the
Secretary shall notify such coastal State or Indian tribe that the
(i) approves the plan as submitted;
(ii) disapproves the plan as submitted; or
(iii) needs up to an additional 30 days for additional review
of the plan.
(B) DISAPPROVAL- If the Secretary disapproves a proposed 5-year
plan or annual work plan, the Secretary shall provide notice of
such disapproval to the submitting coastal State or Indian tribe
in writing, and include in such notice the rationale for the Secretary's
decision. The submitting State shall resubmit the plan to the Secretary
not later than 30 days after receiving the notice of disapproval.
(c) Grants to Regional Planning Bodies-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall use amounts allocated under section
5(c)(2) to award grants to regional planning bodies to create and
implement Regional Strategic Plans, as described in this subsection.
(2) REQUIREMENTS FOR PLAN- In order to be eligible to receive a grant
under this subsection, a regional planning body being considered for
such a grant shall submit an application that demonstrates how activities
to be carried out with grant funds would facilitate the creation or
implementation of a Regional Strategic Plan, as described in this
(3) REGIONAL STRATEGIC PLAN-
(A) REQUIREMENT- Not later than 5 years after receiving a grant
under this section, each regional planning body shall prepare and
submit to the Secretary for review, a Regional Strategic Plan.
(B) CONTENTS- Each Regional Strategic Plan submitted under this
(i) be based on initial assessments of--
(I) the region's ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystem health
(aa) science-based ecosystem assessments;
(bb) monitoring; and
(cc) forecasting physical, chemical, and biological ocean
(II) the cultural and economic role of the ocean, coasts, or
Great Lakes in the region; and
(III) existing, emerging, and cumulative threats to ocean, coastal,
and Great Lakes ecosystem health of the region;
(ii) specify essential areas within the ocean, coastal, or Great
(iii) describe short-term and long-term--
(I) goals for improving ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystem
health in the region covered by the Plan; and
(II) indicators of improvements in economic sustainability in
the region resulting from improved ecosystem health and enhanced
collaboration and coordination among Federal and State agencies;
(iv) include recommendations for long-term observing and monitoring
measures for the region covered by the Plan;
(v) identify Federal and State priority issues within the region
covered by the Plan;
(vi) describe potential management solutions and policies to address
the priority issues, consistent with existing Federal ocean policy;
(vii) identify research, information, and data needed to carry
out the Plan;
(viii) identify performance measures and benchmarks for purposes
of clauses (ii) through (vi) to evaluate the Plan's effectiveness;
(ix) define responsibilities and include an analysis of the gaps
in authority, coordination, and resources, including funding,
that must be filled in order to fully achieve those performance
measures and benchmarks.
(4) PUBLIC PARTICIPATION- Each regional planning body shall provide
adequate opportunities for public input during the development of
the Regional Strategic Plan for the region and any revisions to such
(5) PLAN REVISION- Each approved Regional Strategic Plan shall be
reviewed and revised by the appropriate regional planning body at
least once every 5 years. The revised Plan shall be submitted to the
Secretary for review and approval pursuant to paragraph (6).
(A) IN GENERAL- Not later than 90 days after receiving a Regional
Strategic Plan from a regional planning body, the Secretary shall
notify the regional planning body that the Secretary--
(i) approves the plan as submitted;
(ii) disapproves the plan as submitted; or
(iii) needs up to an additional 30 days to further review the
(B) DISAPPROVAL- If the Secretary disapproves a proposed Regional
Strategic Plan, the Secretary shall provide notice of such disapproval
to the submitting regional planning body in writing, and include
in such notice the rationale for the Secretary's decision. The regional
planning body shall resubmit the Plan not later than 30 days after
receiving such notice and rationale for initial disapproval.
(7) OPPORTUNITY FOR PUBLIC COMMENT- In determining whether to approve
a Regional Strategic Plan under this subsection, the Secretary shall
provide opportunity for, and take into consideration, public input
and comment on such Plan from stakeholders and the general public.
(d) National Grants for Oceans, Coasts, and Great Lakes-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary may use amounts allocated under section
5(c)(3) to make grants to support activities consistent with section
(2) CRITERIA FOR ENTITIES- The Secretary, in consultation with the
Council, shall establish criteria to determine the types of entities
eligible for grants under this subsection, including--
(A) coastal State, noncoastal State, local, and affected Indian
tribal governments and agencies;
(B) regional agencies, associations, or organizations other than
regional planning bodies;
(C) fishery or wildlife management organizations;
(D) nonprofit organizations; and
(E) academic institutions.
(3) APPROVAL- The Secretary shall--
(A) review the Council's recommendations submitted under section
(B) subject to approval, allocate amounts allocated under section
5(c)(3) on the basis of the Council's recommendations; and
(C) if the Secretary disapproves a grant recommended by the Council,
explain that disapproval in writing.
SEC. 8. NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE OCEANS COUNCIL.
(a) Establishment- Except as provided in subsection (j), the Secretary
shall establish a National Endowment for the Oceans Council which shall
consist of 7 members with expertise in the conservation and management
of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems and marine resources.
(b) Membership; Appointment- The members of the Council shall be as
(1) Two representatives of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,
appointed by the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
(2) One representative of the Office of Water of the Environmental
Protection Agency, appointed by the Administrator of the Environmental
(3) One representative of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service,
appointed by the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
(4) One representative of the National Science Foundation, appointed
by the Director of the National Science Foundation.
(5) One representative of the Council on Environmental Quality, appointed
by the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality.
(6) One representative of the United States Geological Survey, appointed
by the Director of the United States Geological Survey.
(1) TERM- The term of office of a member of the Council is 5 years,
(A) of the members initially appointed under paragraph (1) of subsection
(b), 1 shall be appointed for a term of 4 years;
(B) the member initially appointed under paragraphs (2), (3), and
(4) of such subsection shall be appointed for a term of 3 years;
(C) the member initially appointed under paragraph (5) of such subsection
(b) shall be appointed for a term of 4 years.
(2) VACANCY- Whenever a vacancy occurs among members of the Council,
the Secretary, or the head of the appropriate agency shall appoint
an individual to fill that vacancy for the remainder of the applicable
(1) IN GENERAL- The Council shall elect a chair from among its members.
(2) TERM- The chair shall serve for a 3-year term, except that the
first chair may be elected for a term of less than 3 years, as determined
by the Council.
(e) Quorum- Five members of the Council shall constitute a quorum for
the transaction of business.
(1) IN GENERAL- The Council shall meet at the call of the chair, but
in no case less frequently than twice each year.
(2) PUBLIC ACCESS- Meetings of the Council shall be open to the public,
and the chair shall take appropriate steps to provide adequate notice
to the public of the time and place of such meetings.
(3) FAILURE TO ATTEND- If a Council member misses 3 consecutively
scheduled meetings, the Secretary may revoke that member's appointment
to the Council.
(1) EMPLOYMENT- The Secretary may employ and fix the compensation
of staff, as the Council determines necessary, to carry out such duties
as the Council may require and, with assistance from the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, facilitate consideration of
grant applications and otherwise assist the Council in carrying out
(2) PAY AND BENEFITS- The pay and benefits of the staff shall be derived
from amounts available from the Endowment for administrative costs
subject to section 5(c)(4).
(3) STATUS AS FEDERAL EMPLOYEES-
(A) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in subparagraph (B), employees
of the Council shall be considered Federal employees only for purposes
(i) injury compensation as provided in chapter 81 of title 5,
United States Code, and tort claims liability under chapter 171
of title 28, United States Code;
(ii) the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.) and
the provisions of chapter 11 of title 18, United States Code;
(iii) any other statute or regulation governing the conduct of
(B) EXCEPTION- Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), section 208(a)
of title 18, United States Code, shall not apply to such an individual
if, after review of the financial disclosure report filed by the
individual pursuant to the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C.
App.), the Secretary, or the Secretary's designee, certifies in
writing that the need for the individual's services outweighs the
potential for a conflict of interest created by the financial interest
(h) Functions- The Council shall--
(1) receive and review, according to procedures established under
section 7(d)(1), applications for grants under subsections (b) and
(c) of section 7; and
(2) submit to the Secretary a list of recommended applications for
such grants, consistent with existing Federal ocean policy and criteria
established under this Act, and include--
(A) a recommended priority order for funding such applications;
(B) the amount of the grant each such application should receive;
(C) any specific requirements, conditions, or limitations for such
an application recommended for funding under this Act.
(i) Advisory Panel- In reviewing applications for grants under subsections
(b) and (c) of section 7, the Council shall establish an external review
process through working groups or by other means, including consultation
with persons representing--
(1) a balanced and diverse range of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes
(2) a balanced and diverse range of regions;
(3) nonprofit conservation organizations with a mission that includes
the conservation and protection of living marine resources and their
(4) academic institutions with strong scientific or technical credentials
and experience in marine science or policy.
(j) Reliance on Existing Federal Interagency Body- Rather than establish
a National Endowment for the Oceans Council, the Secretary may designate
an existing Federal interagency body created to implement Federal ocean
policy to perform the functions set forth in section 8(h).
SEC. 9. ANNUAL REPORT.
(a) Requirement for Annual Report- Beginning with fiscal year 2012,
not later than 60 days after the end of each fiscal year, the Secretary
shall submit a report on the operation of the Endowment during the fiscal
year to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the
Senate and the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives.
(b) Content- Each annual report submitted under subsection (a) for a
fiscal year shall include--
(1) a statement of the amounts deposited in the Endowment and the
balance remaining in the Endowment at the end of the fiscal year;
(2) a description of the expenditures made from the Endowment for
the fiscal year, including the purpose of the expenditures; and
(3) recommendations for additional authority necessary to fulfill
the purpose of the Endowment.