The USGS Coalition is an alliance of over 70 organizations united by a commitment to the continued vitality of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and its ability to provide critical data and services to the nation. The Coalition supports increased federal investment in USGS programs that underpin responsible natural resource stewardship, improve resilience to natural and human-induced hazards, and contribute to the long-term health, security, and prosperity of the nation.
Essential Services for the Nation
Established by Congress as a branch of the Department of the Interior in 1879, the U.S. Geological Survey has a truly national mission that extends beyond the boundaries of the nation’s public lands to positively impact the lives of all Americans.
The USGS plays a crucial role in protecting the public from natural hazards, assessing water quality, providing geospatial data, and conducting the science necessary to manage our nation’s living, mineral, and energy resources.
Through its nationwide offices, the agency works with partners to provide high-quality research and data to policymakers, emergency responders, resource managers, civil and environmental engineers, educators, and the public.
A few examples of essential USGS services include:
|Water: The USGS monitors surface and groundwater availability and quality. It collects data that are used by other agencies to issue flood warnings and to assess drought impacts. Monitoring of water pollution helps protect drinking water quality.||Natural and Man-Made Hazards: The USGS monitors and forecasts the threat of earthquakes, floods, and wildfires, and informs response efforts to man-made disasters, like oil spills, saving lives and helping to reduce the economic impact of such events.|
|Energy and Minerals: USGS surveys of energy and mineral resources inform environmentally prudent development and conservation, contributing to the nation’s energy independence and economic growth.||Geospatial Data: States, federal agencies, and the private sector depend upon geographical data from the nation’s mapper – the USGS. With its partners, USGS provides a new generation of high-quality, digital geospatial data products.|
|Environment: USGS research informs management of endangered species, aids in the control of invasive species (e.g. zebra mussels), and monitors wildlife diseases (e.g. Avian Flu, Chronic Wasting Disease).||Climate Change: USGS research is vital to predicting the impacts of climate change on sea level, water resources, wildfires, and ecosystems. The USGS is also assessing the nation’s potential for carbon sequestration.|
Addressing a Funding Shortfall
The need for science in support of public policy decision-making has never been greater. USGS scientists and engineers provide hydrological, biological, geological, geospatial, and other types of data that support the effective management of water, wildlife, ecosystems, and energy and mineral resources, as well as contribute to protection and prevention measures for natural disasters.
In order to meet the tremendous need for science to support public policy more investment is needed. That investment should be used to strengthen vital USGS partnerships, improve monitoring networks, implement bioinformatics programs, produce high quality digital geo- spatial data, and deliver the best possible science to address societal problems and inform decision makers.