OVERVIEW OF U.S. CENSUS OF MARINE LIFE
The Census of Marine Life (CoML) is a broad global scientific initiative that supports research at the frontiers of our oceans: the hottest undersea vents, the deepest and darkest depths, the farthest animal migration patterns, and the richest species abundance. Census projects engage more than 2,700 scientists and ocean professionals from 80 countries. This global effort, coordinated by an international Scientific Steering Committee, is implemented by national and regional committees, including the U.S. National Committee (USNC). The USNC helps the overall Census to identify national and regional priorities, build partnerships, explore sources of funding, and promote the CoML to local audiences. The USNC is also working with Congress, federal agencies, the academic community, and private sector partners to establish a long-term, sustained program on marine biodiversity.
The mission of the U.S. CoML is to serve as an unbiased source of sound scientific information to support the needs of the nation by assessing and explaining the changing diversity, distribution, and abundance of marine species, as well as the functional role of marine biodiversity in the U.S. and its territories and commonwealths, in the past, present, and future.