Update - July 10, 2013
A standing room only audience, including House and Senate staff, attended the briefing hosted by Congressman C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger (D-MD), Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and Congressman Don Young (R-AK), former chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, co-sponsors of H.R. 1382, the Digital Coast Act of 2013.
A PowerPoint presentation by stakeholders who rely upon data collected and disseminated by the Digital Coast project outlined the framework, benefits and applications. This panel included Kurt Allen (Photo Science, Inc.) on behalf of MAPPS.
John Palatiello, MAPPS Executive Director, made remarks, telling the audience "MAPPS strongly supports and enthusiastically recommends the coastal geospatial services contracts carried out by NOAA’s Coastal Services Center in Charleston, SC in support of Digital Coast.” He said it is "a model for defining roles and responsibilities in the geospatial community with NOAA, as the data partner for federal, state, and local government, facilitating the demand for geospatial data, while the private sector provides the supply of data as contractors to NOAA.” He noted that all the Digital Coast prime contractors are MAPPS member firms and several projects have won awards in the annual MAPPS project excellence awards competition. Palatiello cited Dick McDonald’s recent testimony before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oceans where the MAPPS President called Digital Coast "a best practices model” and said while GAO has been critical of duplication in federal geospatial activities, Digital Coast and H.R. 1382 provide a solution.
Pictures from the briefing are available on MAPPS Facebook page.
Original Post - July 2, 2013
A briefing for members of Congress and their staffs on the
Digital Coast program will take place at 2:00PM on July 8, 2013 in the Rayburn
House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Digital Coast is a program managed by the Coastal
Services Center (CSC) based in Charleston, South Carolina to improve
coastal economies and ecological health by helping communities address
on-the-ground planning and resource management challenges with just
cost-effective, and participatory solutions, including geospatial data. H.R. 1382, the "Digital Coast Act of 2013",
introduced by Reps. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) and Don Young
(R-AK), would authorize NOAA to
establish Digital Coast as a constituent-driven program that collects priority
coastal geospatial data. The program would support an information platform
capable of efficiently integrating coastal data with decision support tools,
training, and best practices to inform and improve local, state, regional, and
federal capacities to manage the coastal region.
John Palatiello, MAPPS Executive Director, will speak in
support of H.R. 1382. In addition, Kurt Allen (Photo Science, Inc.) MAPPS Past
President, Legislative Affairs Committee Chairman and Oceans and Coastal
Mapping Task Force Chairman will also make remarks at the briefing.
MAPPS has worked with a coalition of organizations to
support the Digital Coast program and has been a supporter of H.R. 1382.
For more information about the briefing, click here.
Coast provides an opportunity to help America’s fragile oceans, coasts and
shorelines by addressing issues raised by the U.S. Oceans Commission, the Pew
Commission, as well as several National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences
reports, all of which have highlighted the needed surveying, charting, remote
sensing, and geospatial data for America’s coasts, harbors and ports, shoreline
and ocean resources critical to our nation’s most basic activities.
Coast program will also coordinate the pooling of resources from multiple
agencies (Federal, state, and local) and other stakeholders to map the various
needs once, and then utilize and apply the high-quality data and products
numerous times, thus reducing costly waste of tax dollars while maximizing the
return on investment for all stakeholders.
Your action is needed NOW to alert your respective member of Congress and Senators to attend to learn more about how geospatial technology, data, services and products will benefit their District, State or other constituencies.
Contact your member of Congress TODAY to have them and/or their staff attend. Look up your Representative and Senators. If you have any questions, contact John "JB" Byrd, MAPPS Government Affairs Manager.