U.S. Extended Continental Shelf Project
The mission of the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf (ECS) Project is to establish the full extent of the continental shelf of the United States, consistent with international law.
About the Project
The work to determine the outer limits of the U.S. ECS is coordinated by the ECS Task Force, an interagency body of the U.S. Government led by the Department of State. The U.S. ECS Project Office is located at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information in Boulder, Colorado.
The ECS is that portion of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles. It is an important maritime zone that holds many resources and vital habitats for marine life.
Since 2003, U.S. agencies have been collecting and analyzing data to determine the outer limits of the U.S. ECS.
The United States supports the efforts of other countries to determine their ECS limits, in accordance with the Law of the Sea Convention.
The United States has ECS in seven offshore areas: the Arctic, Atlantic (east coast), Bering Sea, Pacific (west coast), Mariana Islands, and two areas in the Gulf of Mexico.