Status of Commerce's Implementation of the Chesapeake Bay Research Coordination Act of 1980

RCED-83-167: Published: Aug 31, 1983. Publicly Released: Aug 31, 1983.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed implementation efforts of the Chesapeake Bay Research Coordination Act of 1980 at the Department of Commerce.

The act's basic objective is to coordinate research of the Chesapeake Bay area and to establish a research board which is required to develop a research plan, periodically review federal research programs pertaining to the Bay, and submit an annual report to Congress and the Governors of Maryland and Virginia. The Governors initiated actions with Commerce to establish an ad hoc committee to help the states develop a research plan. The ad hoc committee later expanded its scope. However, funds have not been available to the committee and members are only involved on a part-time basis. GAO found that, although the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration believes that the act's objectives can be achieved by the ad hoc committee, no progress has been made. GAO believes that Commerce's actions do not fully implement the act in the manner prescribed by Congress because Commerce has made little progress toward achieving the act's basic objective and specific requirements and has not assumed a lead role in coordinating federal research activities involving the Bay. GAO noted that a federal ad hoc committee interacting with Maryland and Virginia representatives is not the type of mechanism required by the act to implement its requirements.

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