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Marine Boundary Working Group Charter

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Charter for the FGDC Marine Boundary Working Group

I. Purpose
The Marine Boundary Working Group (MBWG) will foster integrated approaches to the
legal and geospatial descriptions of marine boundaries and mapping of marine boundary
features within the territorial water of the United States. The goals of the working group
are to make maximum use of public resources to avoid duplicating efforts; provide a
venue for communicating and coordinating on marine boundary activities; and to use
standardized methodologies to produce more complete and usable marine boundary data,
metadata, and charts.

II. Authority
Under the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-16, revised 2001, the
Department of Interior, Mineral Management Service, has offshore cadastral
responsibility. Offshore Cadastre is the land management system used on the Outer
Continental Shelf. It extends from the baseline to the extent of United States jurisdiction.
Additionally, the Department of Commerce, NOAA and the Department of Interior,
Mineral Management Service have duel responsibility for the baseline and marine
boundaries. The baseline is the line from which maritime zones are measured.
Other pertinent enabling authority resides in the language of the Marine Protected Areas
(MPA) Executive Order 13158. A key component of the Executive Order is to
strengthen the management, protection, and conservation of existing marine protected
areas and to establish new or extended MPAs. A critical step in establishing MPAs will
be to develop legal and geospatial descriptions of their marine boundaries.

III. Scope
The scope of the working group extends to all technical and legal facets of marine
boundaries. The working group will build upon the work of other FGDC subcommittees
and working groups to identify standards and protocols for the documentation, mapping,
and use of marine boundaries. In addition, the working group will develop guidelines for
legal descriptions of marine boundaries, and examine the legal and technical implications
for plotting marine boundaries on charts and their use in other formats.
The geographic scope of the working group is offshore waters over which the United
States asserts sovereignty and jurisdiction.

IV. Working Group
The lead agencies responsible for the coordination, management, and dissemination of
marine boundary data are the Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Department of Interior, Minerals
Management Service (MMS). These two agencies shall share chairmanship
responsibilities. The working group has been established to assist in coordinating Federal
and non-Federal interests in marine boundary data. The responsibilities of the Working
Group include, but are not limited to:
A. facilitation of collection, exchange, and transfer of marine boundary data;
B. establishment and implementation of standards for data content, documentation,
quality, and legal use;
C. coordination of marine boundary data activities to minimize duplication of effort;
D. the development of a marine boundary data clearinghouse; and
E. any other activities that are agreed upon by the working group

V. Membership
The working group shall consist of representatives designated by Federal and
independent agencies that are involved with development, dissemination, and use of
marine boundaries as part of their mission. Each member agency of the working group
shall designate its representative, an alternate, and changes thereto, by memorandum
from that agency to the working group secretary. Other Federal organizations may be
added with the concurrence of the working group. Federal organizations can request
membership by writing to either of the working group chairs. The working group may
also invite non-Federal participation, on an ad hoc basis, to provide information and
briefings as determined by the needs of the working group.

VI. Procedures
Working group meetings shall be held at the call of the chairperson(s), and shall be held
at least semi-annually. Normally, notification of meetings will be distributed to members
of the working group and to the FGDC Executive Secretary 30 days in advance of the
meeting. All decisions of the working group shall be on the basis of consensus
agreement. The working group chairperson(s) shall consult with the chairperson of the
Coordination Group to determine the need for further coordination prior to implementing
working group decisions that impact the FGDC or its other subcommittees or working
groups. The working group may establish additional rules and procedures for conducting

VII. Subgroups
The working group may create work groups or task groups, or further subdivisions, at the
discretion of the chairperson(s), as appropriate to carry out its activities and meet its
responsibilities. The establishment of subgroups of more than 12 months duration that are
in addition to any specified in this exhibit and the abolishment of any such sub-group
requires the approval of the FGDC. Participation in these groups may be drawn from its
member organizations, other Federal agencies, state agencies, and academia, as

VIII. Coordinating Mechanisms
The working group will employ those tools that are best suited to meeting its
responsibilities, such as United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, national user
forums, annual requirements solicitations, user surveys and analyses, spatial data user
workshops, research initiatives, and cooperative ventures.
The working group will coordinate their activities with appropriate FGDC subcommittees
and working groups by participating on the FGDC Coordination Group.

IX. Reports
The working group shall report to the FGDC annually, by December 31, describing the
accomplishments regarding collection, processing, and availability of marine boundary
data. This annual status report shall be submitted to the Executive Secretary, and shall
• accomplishments for the past calendar year;
• an operating plan for activities planned for the upcoming year;
• photographs, diagrams, and other materials that may be of value for inclusion in the
annual FGDC report to the Office of Management and Budget; and
• a brief discussion of problems encountered and other matters of interest.
The working group shall submit an operating plan for the upcoming year for FGDC
review and concurrence. Special reports and technical papers may be requested by the
FGDC during the reporting period describing special projects, coordination with other
working groups and Subcommittees, and information on the use and availability of
marine boundary data.
The working group chairperson(s) shall provide a draft report of working group meetings,
including working group recommendations and action items, to all members for review
prior to approval.
The working group chairperson(s) shall provide the final report of working group
meetings to all working group members, the FGDC Chairperson, the Executive Secretary,
and the chairperson of the FGDC coordination group, subcommittees, and working

X. Termination
The working group shall remain in existence until terminated by the FGDC. At which
time, a new exhibit shall be developed by the working group describing how the
coordination for maritime boundary data will be undertaken.

Working Group Chairs:
Cindy Fowler, Senior Spatial Data Analyst
NOAA Coastal Services Center
2234 South Hobson Ave.
Charleston, SC 29405-2413
Voice – (843) 740-1249
Fax – (843) 740-1315
Email –

Leland F. Thormahlen, Chief, Mapping and Boundary Branch
USDI Minerals Management Service
P.O. Box 25165, MS4011
Denver Federal Center
Lakewood, CO 80225
Email –

Last Updated: Mar 21, 2006 12:29 PM
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