Extended Continental Shelf

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy and the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Louis S. St-Laurent

Under international law, every coastal nation is entitled to delineate the outer limit of its continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from shore. Within this extended continental shelf, the coastal state has sovereign rights over the natural resources on and beneath the seabed.

Members of the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf Project Task Force are the U.S. Department of State, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of the Interior, Executive Office of the President, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Coast Guard, National Science Foundation, Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Navy, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, Minerals Management Service, and the Arctic Research Commission.

When the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf (ECS) Project was added to the President's budget in 2008, the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) assumed the agency’s annual funding and project coordination responsibilities.