U.S. Extended Continental Shelf
The ECS is that portion of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from shore. The U.S. ECS is an important maritime zone that holds many resources and vital habitats for marine life. Knowledge of the exact extent of the U.S. ECS and an improved understanding of its resources will promote economic prosperity and enhance stewardship of our natural resources.
The process to determine the outer limits of the U.S. ECS requires the collection and analysis of data that describe the depth, shape, and geophysical characteristics of the seabed and sub-sea floor. Since 2003, U.S. agencies have been engaged in gathering and analyzing data to determine the outer limits of the U.S. ECS.