The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, that was passed by the Senate last week and is now under House review, contains two provisions for mapping that would bring billions to the mapping community through 2018. I reported on sections of this Act last week, and am now taking a closer look. While many of the provisions relate to specific tracts of land or projects in parks, there are a two proposals related specifically to mapping.
“Although significant progress has been made in the production of geologic maps since the establishment of the national cooperative geologic mapping program in 1992, no modern, digital, geologic map exists for approximately 75 percent of the United States.”
This amendment to the original calls for appropriations of $64 million each fiscal year from 2009 through 2018 to be administered by the U.S. Geological Survey.
“The President, in coordination with the Interagency Committee on Ocean and Coastal Mapping and affected coastal states, shall establish a program to develop a coordinated and comprehensive Federal ocean and coastal mapping plan for the Great Lakes and coastal state waters, the territorial sea, the exclusive economic zone, and the continental shelf of the United States that enhances ecosystem approaches in decision-making for conservation and management of marine resources and habitats, establishes research and mapping priorities, supports the siting of research and other platforms, and advances ocean and coastal science.”
This comprehensive coastal mapping initiative contains specific language on fostering cooperation among scientific communities and different levels of government, funding research and development for new and innovative technologies, developing data standards and protocols, and distributing the data seamlessly and freely to the public.
The appropriations portion of the bill earmarks $26 million in 2009, $32 million in 2010, $38 million in 2011, and $45 million for each year from 2012 to 2015. Roughly half of the appropriation would go to the creation and funding of Joint Ocean and Coastal Mapping Centers. The Act is to be administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.