The Presidential proclamation on March 10, 1983, of a 200-nautical-mile-wide Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) focuses attention on the mineral resources of a vast submarine area. The hard-mineral resources in the EEZ include shallow-water placer deposits, polymetallic sulfide deposits, and cobalt-enriched manganese crusts in deeper water. The petroleum resource potential of basins within the EEZ is of importance especially in the deep water of the continental slope and rise. In order to formulate a national program to assess the resources in the EEZ, a symposium on 'A National Program for the Assessment and Development of the Mineral Resources of the United States Exclusive Economic Zone', was held at the National Center of the US Geological Survey. The symposium covered resource evaluation, engineering development needs, and the legal framework for management of the assessment and development of this vast area. Recommendations resulting from the symposium are discussed as well as the initial steps for implementing those recommendations and formulating an effective national program.