Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


Dumping of wastes into the ocean has gone on for years especially in the New York Bight. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is mandated by Title II of the Ocean Dumping Act of 1972 to investigate the effects of ocean dumping on the marine environment. However, there is a perception within Congress, the public and other agencies that NOAA is not meeting it's responsibilities with regard to ocean dumping research. The effectiveness of NOAA's ocean dumping policies and programs and the difficulties in implementation experienced by the agency are evaluated by applying George Edwards' theory of policy implementation. According to this theory, four factors - communications, resources, dispositions and bureaucratic structure - are critical in understanding the implementation process. In this case study, NOAA's present lack of participation in the ocean dumping issue can be analyzed by examining the historical events of the past twenty years as they apply to the policy implementation theory.