US Extended Continental Shelf Project

ECS Data Management

The mission of the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf (ECS) Project is to establish the full extent of the U.S. continental shelf, consistent with international law. The ECS is that portion of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from shore .

The work to determine the outer limits of the U.S. ECS is coordinated by the ECS Task Force, an interagency body of the U.S. government. The ECS Task force is chaired by the Department of State, with co-vice chairs from the Department of Interior and NOAA.

How Does the Public Benefit?

U.S. ECS is believed to be at least one million square km2, an area about twice the size of California. Knowledge of the exact extent of the U.S. ECS and an improved understanding of its resources will promote economic prosperity and enhance stewardship of our natural resources.

NCEI's Role

Determining the outer limits of the U.S. ECS requires large amounts of data that describe the depth, shape, and geophysical characteristics of the seabed and sub-sea floor. NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI; formerly NOAA's National Geophysical Data Center) serves as the Data Management lead for the U.S. ECS Project and archival location for all data related to the Project. NCEI preserves and provides Access to Data needed for the Project to determine the outer limits of the U.S. ECS.

By partnering with federal agencies and academia, NCEI proficiently manages, documents, and delivers scientific data. Our collaborations foster modern, standards-based oceanic data management and documentation practices, providing exceptional science and data reuse. These joint efforts have resulted in improved Metadata Templates and Standards, as well as Policies and Procedures to ensure that ECS data and information is properly archived and accessible for the ECS project and for the public.

ECS Data Stewardship Supports National Goals

NCEI management of U.S. ECS data critically supports the U.S. ECS Project's mission to determine the full extent of our continental shelf, consistent with international law. Successful collaborations to document, archive, and make available ECS data also support the National Ocean Policy and NOAA objectives to increase understanding, inform decisions, and ensure efficient collection and sharing of ocean data.

none U.S. Marine Mammal Commission (MMC) U.S. Arctic Research Commission (USARC) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) U.S. Department of the Navy U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) U.S. Office of the President U.S. Department of State (DOS)

ECS Task Force: U.S. Department of State (DOS), Executive Office of the President, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), NOAA, U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Navy, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Arctic Research Commission (USARC), Marine Mammals Commission (MMC)