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Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House Transmitting the National Oceanographic Program for Fiscal Year 1967

May 18, 1966

Dear Mr. President: (Dear Mr. Speaker:)

I am pleased to forward for consideration by interested committees of Congress the National Oceanographic Program for Fiscal Year 1967. This report describes the activities of all Federal Agencies currently engaged in oceanography.

Although we are daily learning more about the stars and skies above us, the sea around us remains largely a mystery. This "hydrospace" covers seven out of every ten miles of the earth's surface, yet we have glimpsed only faintly the vast promise which the world's oceans hold for the benefit of mankind.

That promise is as boundless as the sea itself. One day, the sea may yield fertile harvests to nourish the hungry. Ultimately, we may be able to tap the abundant store of minerals, chemicals, and energy locked in the sea so that no nation--large or small, young or old--will lack the resources essential for the prosperity and well-being of its people.

Our National Oceanographic Program will help us drive back the frontiers of the unknown through marine research, surveys, and ocean engineering. From this work, we will gain knowledge which will help sustain our prosperity, enhance our national defense, and:

--develop faster and more comfortable means of transportation.

--step-up our attack against water pollution.

--permit more accurate forecasts of the storms and tides that endanger life and property.

--exploit marine and mineral resources to their fullest potential.

Over the past years, we have moved closer to the fulfillment of some important objectives. Recent significant and exciting advances include:

1. The Sea Lab II--This is the Navy's "Man-in-Sea" project. Conducted off the coast of California late last year, it showed that man can live and work for long intervals, and at great depths, in an undersea habitat.

2. Project Mohole--Design of the world's largest stable deep-ocean drilling platform has been completed by the National Science Foundation. I urge that Congress appropriate the funds so that construction of this vital instrument can begin promptly. The Mohole Project will provide the answer to many basic questions about the earth's crust and the origin of ocean basins. It will teach us how to drill in the ocean depths--the prelude to the future exploitation of resources at the bottom of the sea.

3. Nuclear Research Submarines--A nuclear-powered long-endurance, deep-water research vessel is under construction by the Navy and the Atomic Energy Commission. When completed, this vessel will help us map the ocean bottom, give us new information on the control and use of marine life and minerals--and how to find and retrieve from the ocean objects of commercial, scientific, and national security value. This revolutionary vessel will perform a variety of tasks thought impossible only a few short years ago.

The Government-wide character of the National Oceanographic Program bears special mention. Through the planning of the Inter-Agency Committee on Oceanography of the Federal Council for Science and Technology, the many separate elements of the program are coordinated into an effective and efficient effort. Working together with industry, the universities, and state and local governments, the Federal Government must continue to keep this Nation in the forefront of oceanographic science and engineering.

As Longfellow well observed, the sea divides--but yet unites--mankind. Through our exploration of the sea, we can move toward a new era in which science can fulfill its creative promise to bring a better and happier life to all the peoples of the world.



Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to the Honorable Hubert H. Humphrey, President of the Senate, and to the Honorable John W. McCormack, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The 107-page report, entitled "National Oceanographic Program, Fiscal Year 1967" (ICO Pamphlet 24, March 1966), was published by the Interagency Committee on Oceanography of the Federal Council for Science and Technology.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House Transmitting the National Oceanographic Program for Fiscal Year 1967 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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