Quarterdeck Volume 6, Number 1, May 1998
Marine policy fuels GulfCet surveys
Extensive environmental surveys like GulfCet are required
by several laws that help protect the environment from damage by human activities:
- The National Environmental Policy Act, passed in 1969,
requires all federal agencies to use a systematic interdisciplinary approach
that will ensure the integrated use of the natural and social sciences
in any planning and decision-making that may affect the environment.
- The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) of 1972, as amended,
recognizes that certain species and populations of marine mammals are,
or may be, in danger of extinction or depletion as a result of human activities.
MMPA implemented sound policies of resource management and established
a national policy that marine mammal populations should be protected and
encouraged to develop to the greatest extent feasible.
- The Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, as amended,
provides for the conservation of animal and plant species that have been
determined to be endangered or threatened. The act requires that major
federal actions do not jeopardize the existence of listed species or result
in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitats. The ESA
requires that government agencies consult one another about effects of
their activities on protected species in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The
secretaries of the departments of the Interior and Commerce are charged
with all responsibility, authority, funding, and duties under the ESA and
- The Biological Research Division (BRD) of the U.S. Geological
Survey has the task of providing the scientific understanding and technology
needed to support management and conservation of the nation's biological
resources. The BRD is the funding agency that supports the GulfCet II study
on behalf of the Minerals Management Service.
- The Minerals Management Service (MMS) is responsible
for leasing, minerals exploration, and development of submerged federal
lands on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) under the provisions of
the OCS Lands Act Amendments of 1978 (92 Stat. 629).
Several laws help protect the environment from damage
by human activities.
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Last updated May 1, 1998