Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act Law and Legal Definition

The Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) is the part of the internationally recognized continental shelf of the United States which does not fall under the jurisdictions of the individual U.S. states. The outer continental shelf is submerged lands that are in US territorial waters but not within any individual state's territorial waters. Oil, gas and other important minerals can be found on the outer continental shelf. The Secretary of Interior is responsible for mineral exploration and development of the outer continental shelf. The United States OCS has been divided into four leasing regions which include the Gulf of Mexico Region, Atlantic Region, Pacific Region and Alaska Region.