U.S. Extended Continental Shelf Project

The information on this site is being moved.

After Jan 2, 2018, please visit www.state.gov/continentalshelf to get the most recent updates.

Welcome to the Extended Continental Shelf


Welcome to the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf Project website.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.

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.