About the NOMEC Strategy

The Ocean Science and Technology Subcommittee of the Ocean Policy Committee released the NOMEC Strategy in June 2020 to coordinate mapping, exploration, and characterization activities. The Strategy outlines an ambitious suite of goals to completely map the seafloor within the United States EEZ and explore and characterize priority areas within the ocean. The NOMEC Strategy has five primary goals:

  1. Coordinate interagency efforts and resources to map, explore, and characterize the United States EEZ.
  2. Map the United States EEZ.
  3. Explore and characterize priority areas of the United States EEZ.
  4. Develop and mature new and emerging science and technologies to map, explore, and characterize the US EEZ.
  5. Build public and private partnerships to map, explore, and characterize the US EEZ.

 What is mapping, exploring, and characterizing?

  • Mapping: Ocean mapping provides comprehensive data and information needed to understand seafloor characteristics such as depth, topography, bottom type, sediment composition and distribution, and underlying geologic structure.
  • Exploring: Ocean exploration provides a multidisciplinary first look at an unknown or poorly understood area of the seafloor, sub-bottom, and/or water column and an initial assessment of an area’s physical, chemical, and biological characteristics.
  • Characterizing: Ocean characterization provides comprehensive data and interpretations for a specific area of interest of the seafloor, sub-bottom, and/or water column, in direct support of specific research, resource management, policymaking, and other mission objectives. 


Ocean Policy History Leading to NOMEC
  • 2021

    The NOMEC Implementation Plan was published. The OPC and all subsidiary bodies were codified under the National Defense Authorization Act.

  • 2020

    The Ocean Science and Technology Subcommittee released the NOMEC Strategy and the related Alaska Coastal Mapping Strategy.

  • 2019

    The Trump Administration directed the OPC, in coordination with the Ocean Resource Management Subcommittee (ORM), by Presidential Memorandum to coordinate ocean mapping and exploration, which initiated creation of the NOMEC and Alaska Coastal Mapping Strategies.

  • 2018

    The Ocean Policy Council (OPC) was established with President Trump’s Executive Order 13840.

  • 2010

    President Obama issued Executive Order 13547, declaring a National Ocean Policy and establishing the National Ocean Council.

  • 2004

    The Bush Administration created the Committee on Ocean Policy (EO 13366) which concurrently established a Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology within the National Science and Technology Council.

  • 2000

    President Clinton launched a new era of ocean exploration with recommendations detailed in the Report to the President’s Panel on Ocean Exploration. The Congress established the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy under the Oceans Act of 2000.

  • 1998

    Clinton Administration reported on the National Ocean Conference, invigorating ocean policy for the 21st Century.

  • 1983

    In 1983, President Regan proclaimed the United States Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)

  • 1970

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was founded under recommendation of The Stratton Commission. The Stratton Commission, appointed by the Johnson White House, established a foundational set of recommendations with production of their 1969 report Our Nation and the Sea. Within NOAA sits the Office of Coast Survey, which was first established by President Thomas Jefferson in 1807, beginning a tradition of Federal mapping in the National interest.