ASFPM and others urge Congress to move Digital Coast Act along
In a March 20, 2018 letter to Chairman Rob Bishop and Ranking Member Raul Grijalva of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources, a Digital Coast Partnership Advocacy Coalition wrote the following:
The Digital Coast Partnership Advocacy Coalition requests your help in scheduling a hearing to markup H.R. 4062, the
Digital Coast Act of 2017.
Earlier this Congress, the Senate unanimously passed S. 110, the Digital Coast Act of 2017 sponsored in a bipartisan
nature by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), and Cory Booker (D-NJ). That
bill is currently being “Held at the Desk”. Companion legislation, H.R. 4062, was introduced in October 2017 in the
House by Reps. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), Don Young (R-AK), Elizabeth Esty (D-CT), and Charlie Crist (D-FL).
The Coalition also wishes to thank Reps. Ruppersberger, Young, and the other 17 bipartisan cosponsors for their
leadership in introducing and supporting H.R. 4062. The strong bipartisan support for this measure is a demonstration of
its broad appeal and value to the nation’s communities. By consolidating coastal data from a variety of sources in one
place and making it publicly accessible, NOAA’s Digital Coast project is helping the coastal management community
better plan for storms, flooding, natural disasters and other challenges that impact vulnerable coastal communities.
Data included in the Digital Coast ranges from surveying, mapping and geospatial data to economic and demographic data
to ecosystem data to satellite imagery. In addition to making this data publicly available online, the Digital Coast provides
a wide array of visualization and prediction tools that dramatically improve the effectiveness and efficiency of coastal
management projects around the country.
Over the next 15 years, NOAA predicts a 411 percent return on investment from the Digital Coast project. In addition to
the return on investment, the Digital Coast has played a significant role in protecting communities and natural resources
from damaging natural disasters. Furthermore, 75 percent of Digital Coast users surveyed by NOAA indicated that their
projects would not have been possible without the Digital Coast.
We respectfully urge your action in scheduling H.R. 4062 for markup in committee. In doing so, we deeply
appreciate your recognition of the numerous benefits the Digital Coast can provide to coastal communities and those
working to make them more resilient.
American Planning Association
Association of State Floodplain Managers
Coastal States Organization
National Association of Counties
National Estuarine Research Reserve Association
National Flood Association
National Society of Professional Surveyors
National States Geographic Information Council
The Nature Conservancy
cc: Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans Chairman Doug Lamborn and Ranking Member Jared Huffman; Fellow