John V. Byrne, administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has proposed that 1984 be observed as the Year of the Oceans. The year should be devoted to defining and clarifying the U.S.'s ocean and coastal goals and “rallying the support to achieve them,” Byrne recently told oceanographers attending the Coastal Zone ′83 gathering in San Diego, Calif.
“Today we see ferment in ocean and coastal concerns,” Byrne said. Among the examples he cited was the proclamation issued by President Reagan on March 10 declaring an exclusive economic zone within 200 miles of the coast where the United States will exercise jurisdiction for the purposes of exploring, exploiting, conserving, and managing natural resources (Eos, June 7, 1983, p. 402). In addition, “legislation has been introduced to define the outer continental shelf, deep seabed minerals, ocean thermal energy, marine pollution, fisheries, and other oceanic concerns,” Byrne said. “In both houses of the U.S. Congress, legislators are considering bills that would establish a National Oceans Policy Commission,” he added.