FG 6-5 (National Council on Marine Resources) (White House Central Files: Subject Files)

Scope and Content Note

The National Council on Marine Resources and Engineering Development, also known as the Marine Council, or the Marine Sciences Council, was established in the Executive Office of the President by the Marine Resources and Development Act of 1966 (80 Stat. 203; 33 U.S.C. 1101). As directed in the Vice President's letter of July 21, 1967, the Marine Council absorbed the responsibilities of the Interagency Committee on Oceanography, of the Federal Council for Science and Technology, established on March 13, 1959 by Executive Order 10807.

The responsibilities of the Marine Council included continuing an annual report of the President to Congress on marine affairs previously prepared by the Interagency Committee on Oceanography; reviewing, coordinating, and developing comprehensive marine programs for Federal Government departments and agencies; conducting studies of legal problems, potential benefits and foreign policy relating to marine resources; and providing policy guidance for the Sea Grant program of the National Science Foundation.

In February 1969, President Nixon requested that both the Marine Council and the President's Advisory Council on Executive Reorganization (Ash Council), evaluate the report, Our Nation and the Sea (January 9, 1969), by the President's Commission on Marine Science, Engineering and Resources (Stratton Commission) to create a new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). On Oct. 19, 1969, Marine Council Chairman Vice President Spiro Agnew announced a five-point interim marine science program in the areas of coastal zone management, the establishment of coastal marine laboratories, lake restoration, the International Decade of Ocean Exploration, and arctic environmental research. The Marine Council was terminated on June 30, 1971. Some of the responsibilities were assumed by NOAA; others, including the annual report of the President to Congress, were assigned by President Nixon on May 28, 1971 to Dr. Edward David of the Office of Science and Technology.

Frequent correspondents in the files include: President Nixon, Vice President Agnew, Peter Flanigan, Clay Whitehead, William Kreigsman, John Whitaker, and Daniel Moynihan, as well as Executive Secretary Dr. Edward Wenk, Acting Executive Secretary Enoch L. Dillon, and A. Dennis Clift of the Marine Council secretariat staff. The Executive file category includes correspondence of the President, Vice President Agnew, Administration officials and Marine Council staff members concerning the reorganization and assignment of marine responsibilities. The General file category mainly contains correspondence of Administration officials and Marine Council staff members relating to briefings, conferences and requests for published reports. One of the files is subdivided (A/), indicating job appointments. Additional materials may be found in the White House Central Files, Staff Member and Office Files of Charles Clapp, John Whitaker, Dr. Edward David, and the President's Advisory Commission on Executive Reorganization, as well as the following subject categories:

FG 6-9 Office of Science and Technology

FG 21-8 Environmental Science Services

FG 21-18 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

FG 94 [President's] Commission on Marine Science, Engineering and Resources [Stratton Commission, established under the Federal Council on Science and Technology]

FG 119 Federal Council on Science and Technology

FG 182 National Science Foundation

FG 221-25 President's Task Force on the Protection of the Alaskan Environment

FG 221-33 President's Task Force on Oceanography

FG 250 President's Advisory Council on Executive Reorganization [Ash Council]

IT 50-3 North Atlantic Treaty Organization/Committee on Challenges of the Modern Society [CCMS]

SC 5 Oceanography


The materials in these files include correspondence, memoranda and press releases of the President and Vice President Agnew concerning the Marine Council's duties, the five-point interim marine science program, messages to Congress on marine policy and three annual reports from the President to Congress concerning marine activities by the Federal Government and international agencies, prepared by the Marine Council. Copies of these reports (January 1969, April 1970 and April 1971) are found in the files. The planned termination, extensions to June 30, 1971, budgetary information and the interim role of the Marine Council are the major topics in these files. Additional topics include the Presidential Task Forces on Oceanography and the Protection of the Alaskan Environment, discussions with the French on marine sciences and the Conference on Oil Pollution (November 1970) sponsored by the Committee on Challenges of Modern Society of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

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