United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Jun 04, 2023

§ 4101.
Congressional findings and declaration of purposes
The Congress finds and declares that—
the Arctic, onshore and offshore, contains vital energy resources that can reduce the Nation’s dependence on foreign oil and improve the national balance of payments;
the Arctic is critical to national defense;
the renewable resources of the Arctic, specifically fish and other seafood, represent one of the Nation’s greatest commercial assets;
Arctic conditions directly affect global weather patterns and must be understood in order to promote better agricultural management throughout the United States;
industrial pollution not originating in the Arctic region collects in the polar air mass, has the potential to disrupt global weather patterns, and must be controlled through international cooperation and consultation;
the Arctic is a natural laboratory for research into human health and adaptation, physical and psychological, to climates of extreme cold and isolation and may provide information crucial for future defense needs;
atmospheric conditions peculiar to the Arctic make the Arctic a unique testing ground for research into high latitude communications, which is likely to be crucial for future defense needs;
Arctic marine technology is critical to cost-effective recovery and transportation of energy resources and to the national defense;
the United States has important security, economic, and environmental interests in developing and maintaining a fleet of icebreaking vessels capable of operating effectively in the heavy ice regions of the Arctic;
most Arctic-rim countries possess Arctic technologies far more advanced than those currently available in the United States;
Federal Arctic research is fragmented and uncoordinated at the present time, leading to the neglect of certain areas of research and to unnecessary duplication of effort in other areas of research;
improved logistical coordination and support for Arctic research and better dissemination of research data and information is necessary to increase the efficiency and utility of national Arctic research efforts;
a comprehensive national policy and program plan to organize and fund currently neglected scientific research with respect to the Arctic is necessary to fulfill national objectives in Arctic research;
the Federal Government, in cooperation with State and local governments, should focus its efforts on the collection and characterization of basic data related to biological, materials, geophysical, social, and behavioral phenomena in the Arctic;
research into the long-range health, environmental, and social effects of development in the Arctic is necessary to mitigate the adverse consequences of that development to the land and its residents;
Arctic research expands knowledge of the Arctic, which can enhance the lives of Arctic residents, increase opportunities for international cooperation among Arctic-rim countries, and facilitate the formulation of national policy for the Arctic; and
the Alaskan Arctic provides an essential habitat for marine mammals, migratory waterfowl, and other forms of wildlife which are important to the Nation and which are essential to Arctic residents.
The purposes of this chapter are—
to establish national policy, priorities, and goals and to provide a Federal program plan for basic and applied scientific research with respect to the Arctic, including natural resources and materials, physical, biological and health sciences, and social and behavioral sciences;
to establish an Arctic Research Commission to promote Arctic research and to recommend Arctic research policy;
to designate the National Science Foundation as the lead agency responsible for implementing Arctic research policy; and
to establish an Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee to develop a national Arctic research policy and a five year plan to implement that policy.
(Pub. L. 98–373, title I, § 102, July 31, 1984, 98 Stat. 1242; Pub. L. 103–199, title VI, § 601, Dec. 17, 1993, 107 Stat. 2327.)
cite as: 15 USC 4101