Launching A New Era Of Ocean Exploration


Monday, June 12, 2000


"We must continue as a nation to set out for new frontiers, whether under the sea or into the heavens. We must continue to try to conquer the seemingly impossible -- to discover the unimaginable, to find out more about what's out there, and in the process, about ourselves and what's here."

President Bill Clinton
Monday, June 12, 2000

Today, at the White House, President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton hosted the White House Millennium Council Millennium Matinee, Exploration: Under the Sea, Beyond the Stars, where the President unveiled actions to embark on a new era of ocean exploration. The President announced that federal researchers will lead three undersea expeditions in waters off New York-New Jersey, Florida, and California, and directed the Department of Commerce to convene a panel of experts to develop recommendations for a national oceans exploration strategy. The discussion was broadcast via satellite to locations around the country, and cybercast over the Internet.

Launching a New Era of Ocean Exploration. Scientists estimate that over 90% of our underwater world remains unknown and unseen. What remains to be explored could hold clues to the origins of life, cures for human diseases, answers to the sustainable use of the oceans, and other valuable information. Today, the President announced two major actions in establishing a national strategy to expand exploration of the oceans:

The Commerce Department, in collaboration with marine research institutions and universities, will lead three undersea expeditions over the coming months:

Under the President's direction, Commerce Secretary Daley will convene a panel of leading ocean explorers, educators, and scientists, and report within 120 days on recommendations for a national oceans exploration strategy, including:

Continuing a Commitment to Ocean Protection. Two years ago today, President Clinton, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Vice President Gore joined members of the Cabinet and others at the National Ocean Conference in Monterey, California. At the conference, the President announced new efforts to restore coral reefs, rebuild marine fisheries, and protect our coasts from oil drilling. The President also directed his Cabinet to develop recommendations for a coordinated, long-term federal ocean policy. In its report last year, Turning to the Sea: America's Ocean Future, the Cabinet outlined an ambitious strategy to protect and sustainably use our ocean resources. Last month, President Clinton took a major step in implementing that strategy with an Executive Order directing agencies to expand and strengthen the nation's network of marine protected areas. Today's actions represent another step in response to key recommendations by the Cabinet to help expand our knowledge of the sea.

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