Although the federal ocean effort consists of about 90 programs, at a cost of $2.52 billion in fiscal 1980, there is no comprehensive plan or coordination for the development of new technologies to advance the programs, according to a report by an Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) panel. Federally supported technologies include ships, satellites for oceanography research, buoys, submersibles, and independent instrument systems. To shore up the development of ocean technology, Congressional initiatives may be necessary, concludes the Technology and Oceanography Assessment Advisory Panel.

There is no consistency, the panel charged, among agencies in their plans for future program or capital expenditures. Furthermore, some agencies plan for possible future technology needs, while others do not plan for new expenditures until new items become vital. And, some program plans include substantial contingencies and related activities, while others do not.