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order, waterfront deterioration in coastal cities, increased pollution at the shoreline, expanding requirements for sea-bed oil, gas, and minerals, and expanding ocean shipping" (Wenk, 1980). The full blessing of the White House was given in March 1968 in the President's conservation message as an International Decade of Ocean Exploration for the 1970s.

International support for the program by other nations and international marine organizations was actively sought by the Marine Council, with the result that on June 13, 1968, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recommended support for IDOE. United Nation's support for the program was obtained in proposition 3 of the General Assembly Resolution 2467(XXIII) cosponsored by 28 nations. This ensured government-to-government endorsement for the program.

Participation of the U.S. marine scientific community in the planning of the IDOE was not ensured until a contract was signed in July 1968 between the Marine Council and the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering to elicit the ideas of scientists and engineers relative to the broad goals developed by the Council. The Academies completed their studies and presented their findings and recommendations in a joint report entitled An Oceanic Quest: The International Decade of Ocean Exploration (NAS, 1969).

The program became official in October 1969 when President Nixon announced five initiatives in marine affairs including a commitment of $25 million for IDOE. The National Science Foundation was given lead responsibility for the program.

Goals and Objectives—The goals of IDOE identified by the Marine Council in its January 1970 report were

  • preserve the ocean environment,

  • improve environmental forecasting,

  • expand seabed assessment activities,

  • develop ocean monitoring systems,

  • improve worldwide data exchange, and

  • increase opportunities for international sharing of responsibilities and costs for ocean exploration.

The NAS (1969) Quest report identified the science and engineering programs, and the resources needed to address the Marine Council goals. The report included a broad statement of the basic objectives as follows:

To achieve more comprehensive knowledge of ocean characteristics and their changes and more profound understanding of oceanic processes for the purpose of more effective utilization of the ocean and its resources.

The report went on to state that the emphasis on utilization was considered of primary importance and that the primary focus of IDOE activities would be on exploration efforts in support of such objectives as:

  • increased net yield from ocean resources,

  • prediction and enhanced control of natural phenomena, and

  • improved quality of the marine environment.

Thus, IDOE investigations should be identifiably relevant to some aspect of ocean utilization.

Distinguishing features of IDOE programs should include (1) ocean investigations involving cooperation among investigators in this country and abroad; (2) long-term and continuing nature requiring the facilities of several groups; (3) programs within the United States to be cooperatively implemented by government agencies (federal and state) and private facilities (academic and industrial); and (4) international cooperation.

In describing the kind of research and exploration needed to address the objectives of the IDOE, the Academy report identified four major topics:

  • geology and non-living resources,

  • biology and living resources,

  • physics and environmental forecasting, and

  • geochemistry and environmental change.

Within these major topical areas, specific programs and studies were described. Most of them required further study and development, but some like the Geochemical Ocean-Section Study (GEOSECS), the Mid-Ocean Dynamics Experiment (MODE), and Climate: Long-range Investigation, Mapping and Prediction (CLIMAP) already were formulated.

Implementation—Responsibility for the planning, management, and funding of IDOE activities was assigned to the National Science Foundation by the g dministration. Funding of $15 million for the first year of the program was included in the fiscal year 1971 federal budget.

IDOE was initially established as an office reporting directly to the assistant director of NSF responsible for national and international programs in company with other programs such as the Office for Oceanographic Facilities and Support and the Office of Polar Programs, as shown in Figure 1. In 1975, another internal reorganization subsumed IDOE within a new Division of Ocean Sciences, one layer more remote from the assistant director level.

Although both the Marine Council report and the NAS (1969) report envisaged significant participation by federal agencies in IDOE, it became evident in the first year of the program that such an arrangement was unworkable. Each of the agencies had its own mission, which did not necessarily coincide with the kinds of projects identified for emphasis by the IDOE program managers.



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