Firestone says that a restructuring of ocean agencies at the federal level is critically needed in order to effectively deal with the policy issues associated with new economic uses of the ocean.
"Congress should consider consolidating the current two 'masters of the sea,' the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Minerals Management Service, either into an agency within an existing cabinet department or into a new cabinet-level Department of the Oceans," he says.
"With the recent policy attention the ocean has garnered in the past two years due to the release of reports by the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the Pew Oceans Commission, a policy window has opened," Firestone notes. "In order to fulfill the promise of offshore development while protecting the marine environment, it's imperative that Congress devise an offshore regulatory regime that provides for the sustainable use, conservation, protection, and management of the marine environment in a transparent and equitable fashion."
Kempton, with Richard Garvine, Maxwell P. and Mildred H. Harrington Professor of Physical Ocean Science and Engineering, Firestone, and other faculty at the University of Delaware have begun offering an advanced graduate seminar, "Offshore Wind Power: Science, Engineering, and Policy," believed to be the first of its kind in the country.
The scientists also have established a Web site on offshore wind power, with links to their recent research articles, wind maps, and other resources, at http://www.ocean.udel.edu/windpower.