The United States is about to embark on the most thorough reconsideration of its ocean policy in more than three decades. With 1998 designated as the International Year of the Ocean by the United Nations, and with both the executive branch and the Congress currently working toward developing new approaches to formulating and implementing ocean policy, a comprehensive overview of key issues and concerns is essential.The Future of U.S. Ocean Policy provides such an overview, with an in-depth analysis of the evolution of U.S. ocean policy and a timely discussion of the most important ocean and coastal issues facing the nation. The book assesses the current status of ocean policy, examines national and international trends, and considers choices for policymakers in the 21st century. Following an introductory chapter that reviews national ocean policy and the process by which it is made, the authors: review the history of development of U.S. ocean and coastal policy examine the major ocean laws enacted in the 1970s and review and assess their record of implementation examine factors that will affect U.S. ocean policy in the coming decade discuss the need to make policy more coherent, and to develop institutional mechanisms that can foster more effective guidance and oversight present a set of policy options for improving U.S. ocean policyThe Future of U.S. Ocean Policy is the only recent book that focuses on national ocean policy in its entirety, and will play an important role in upcoming debates concerning the future direction of policy initiatives. Agency personnel, members and staff of nongovernmental organizations, industry groups, Congressional staffers, state and local governmentofficials, academics, and concerned citizens will find the book an invaluable guide, as will students and faculty in courses in marine and coastal management and in environmental management.