"The federal agencies funding research in oceanography should prepare and maintain a long-range plan for the modernization and composition of the oceanographic research fleet that reaches well into the 21st century."
PRINCIPLES OF THE FLEET PLAN
Purpose? To produce a document defining the federal view of the optimal size of the academic fleet and its regional distribution, both in terms of numbers and specific capabilities, by which to rationally plan for replacement.
Which ships? The main focus is on the ships of the academic research fleet, irrespective of ownership, i.e. the UNOLS fleet. Where appropriate, recognition of the roles of other federal vessels will be included (e.g. NOAA fisheries and research vessels).
What size range? The Federal Agencies will determine which academic ships it will consider under the plan, but for now it will be the Cape class upwards.
Duration of perspective? Thirty years overall (an average vessel lifetime), a detailed focus on the next 10 years, a re-assessment and update every five years.
Complexity of the report? Limit it to a readable document of no more than 15 pages, while recognizing that it would be supported by existing and new data, and existing and new reports and community commentary.
Timeframe for completion? Initiate any plans for data collection and workshops immediately, complete data collection and workshop activity by the end of summer, concurrently hold working group (us folks) and FOFC meetings to develop federal positions, synthesize information and complete draft report by the end of the calendar year, call for review by federal and community interests, finalize report by Spring, 2001.
Main federal agencies? ONR, NSF, NOAA, representing FOFC and NOPP.
Main stakeholders? The scientists of the academic community and their representative organizations (e.g. UNOLS, CORE).
FOFCC is likely to become FOFC (Federal Oceanographic Facilities Committee)
under NOPP. The plan would be submitted through FOFC to NOPP to be approved
by the NOPP agency heads (the National Oceanographic Leadership Council
NORLC) at their Spring 2001 meeting.