By any measure the United States is the world's greatest sea power, yet this is a nation that has no real strategic plan for its ocean future—a plan that would facilitate coordination, prioritization, and funding of the national interest in the oceans covering 71% of our planet's surface.
Attempts have been made before. A little more than 35 years ago a government-wide effort was launched to establish a national ocean plan. The initiative primarily came from congressional actions begun many years earlier. Despite a difficult birth, this was the first serious consideration of the nation's future in the oceans and how it should be organized.
The "Marine Resources and Engineering Development Act of 1966" was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson, creating two important organizations. First was the National Council on Marine Resources and Engineering Development. Chaired by the Vice President, its members were cabinet officers of agencies who had ocean program responsibilities. The council coordinated government ocean programs operated by ten federal agencies ranging from the Department of Defense to NASA.