January 30, 2014

The U.S. Military Should Lead A New National Coastal Ocean Mapping Effort Says CNAS Scholars in New Report

Washington, January 30, 2014 -- The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) has released a new report calling for the development of a comprehensive coastal ocean mapping system that would compile, integrate and analyze available data on the coastal ocean to foster information sharing, improve cooperation and conflict avoidance among the nation's coastal ocean users.
Due to increases in the diversity and volume of coastal ocean activity, and as numerous users vie for improved access, the potential for conflict rises. The authors believe this is “highly problematic for the U.S. military, for whom operating in this coastal environment is critical to maintaining operational readiness.” Monica Medina, Joel Smith and CDR Linda Sturgis, USCG propose that, "the development of a national coastal ocean mapping system with integrated geospatial data from all coastal ocean users would be an integral step towards balancing the offshore training needs of the military with the needs of conservation groups and the private sector."
Download a copy of National Coastal Ocean Mapping: Advancing National Defense and Ocean Conservation.  
Among their specific recommendations, Ms. Medina, Mr. Smith and CDR Sturgis, USCG propose that the U.S. military should lead the coastal ocean mapping effort, with input from public and private stakeholders. Furthermore, they propose that the nine regional marine planning bodies, created by the national ocean policy, be empowered to address the competing uses of coastal ocean waters in their respective regions, and that there be a national-level coordination mechanism to ensure consistency across these bodies.