Transcript for Oceanfloor Legacy, segment 02 of 14


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In nineteen eighty-three the United States government proclaimed everything within two hundred miles of American shores the exclusive economic zone of the United States. In effect this doubled our economic territorial extent and called for an unprecedented resource assessment by the U. S. Geological Survey's Marine Geology Program. With a task like the early frontiersmen exploring the western territories, these modern-day pioneers have responded quickly and are nearly completed with the deep water mapping and geologic study of this vast submarine region. Theirs is the first systematic study of large areas of the ocean floor.

Our present thrust in this program in studying the EEZ is to go to offshore areas near large population centers like San Francisco and to try to understand the geological processes that are forming the sea floor in those regions. We're hopeful that this information that we gather can be useful to political and economic decisionmaking, particularly in the use of the ocean floor for things like the disposal of dredged materials from bays and estuaries.