Marine Transportation, Maritime Safety, Charting and Navigation: Summary
On December 3, 2003, Richard W. Spinrad, Ph.D., Assistant Administrator of NOAAs National Ocean Service (NOS), hosted the first in a series of constituent roundtables on NOS programs and initiatives. The roundtable focused on marine transportation, maritime safety, charting and navigation, and related NOS products and services. Five NOS office directors attended, along with 16 constituents representing the private sector, maritime associations, environmental groups, and ports and vessel operators.
Dr. Spinrad discussed NOAAs strategic plan, the NOAA Research Review Team draft report, and NOAAs new Program Planning, Budgeting and Execution System (PPBES) process. He noted that the upcoming release of the report from the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy will offer a unique opportunity to engage the public in ocean concerns. He also described NOAAs Ocean Council, which is reviewing agency programs in anticipation of the release of the commissions report, and presented his vision of NOS as the global leader in integrated management of the oceans.
Observation and Modeling that Support Commerce and Transportation
Several participants commented on the key role of the Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS
Products and Services that Support Safe Navigation
Roundtable participants stressed the importance of precise navigation and in maintaining the accuracy of NOAAs navigation products. Participants identified electronic navigational charts and raster charts as extremely valuable products, and urged NOS to keep them current and affordable. Several constituents also requested that NOS continue to support paper charts, which are still widely used by recreational boaters and fishermen.
Coastal Resource Management, Environment and Port Development
Several participants raised environmental concerns and noted that coastal resource managers need ready access to socioeconomic data, including information on population trends, travel and tourism, transportation, and land conservation. Several constituents urged NOAA to continue to maintain an environmental focus in its support of the marine transportation system and port infrastructure development. NOAA should consider the concerns of the tourism and recreational boating communities, and environmental and socioeconomic impacts, when making dredging decisions. Several participants noted that NOAAs concerns are the same as those of coastal states, and better coordination is required.
Dr. Spinrad summarized several themes that emerged during the discussions. He highlighted the fact that constituent relations are important to NOS, and said the agency would continue to focus on public- and private-sector concerns. He noted that NOS needs to re-engage those constituents with whom the agency has lost touch, and commented on the opportunity to work with constituents in planning processes. Recognizing that constituent interests are diverse, Dr. Spinrad said NOS should not presume to know all of them. He concluded that NOS and its constituent communities share many interests, and that it is important to work together to identify and address common goals.
Error processing SSI file