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March 11, 2019

Budget Focuses on Priorities Supporting American Energy Enterprise, National Security, and Natural Hazard Response Efforts

President Donald Trump today proposed a $983.5 million Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) budget for the U.S. Geological Survey, which prioritizes scientific inquiry for effective stewardship of America’s natural resources.

"The President’s proposed budget reflects our ongoing commitment to providing science-based information and data to serve the needs and interests of the American people," said Jim Reilly, director of the USGS. "This budget ensures the USGS can execute its core mission and help to ensure the safety of our Nation and a robust and resilient economy."


Land and Water Conservation:  The USGS seeks to understand the impacts to the Nation’s land, water and species challenges through scientific monitoring and research.  The President’s 2020 budget supports the following high-priority USGS programs:

  • Develop the Landsat 9 ground station, keeping pace with NASA satellite development to meet a fiscal year 2021 launch
  • Conduct monitoring in support of the National Water Census, which provides daily water budget estimates for watersheds at scales small enough to enable local resource managers to make near-real time management decisions with regard to water availability
  • Sustain the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP), which responds to the growing need for high-quality, three-dimensional topographic data representations of the Nation’s natural and constructed features
  • Enhance biosurveillance of wildlife diseases and invasive species
  • Conduct research and monitoring and develop tools to support the Department of the Interior in carrying out its legal obligations for trust species’ management.


Utilizing our natural resources:  Energy and mineral resources are a critical component of the Nation’s economy. The USGS provides science that helps inform stewardship of American energy and mineral resources to meet our security and economic needs. The President’s 2020 budget supports the following high-priority USGS programs:

  • Update the estimate of undiscovered, technically recoverable hydrocarbon resources present within Alaska’s North Slope
  • Identify U.S. critical mineral resources that would provide valuable insight and inform efforts to reduce mineral import dependence through the Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI)
  • Provide complete geophysical and geological data to help establish the outer limits of the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf
  • Conduct multi-resource energy assessments
  • Continue a magnetotelluric survey of the contiguous United States to provide insights key to energy and mineral resource management, groundwater management, and electric-grid resiliency


Expanding Outdoor Recreation:  The USGS provides data and research that supports the hunting and recreational fishing sectors that generate $90 billion in expenditures annually and 480,000 American jobs.  The President’s 2020 budget supports the following high-priority USGS programs:

  • Continue work with a vast array of partners to provide science support to management agencies in their efforts to sustain harvest of game, waterfowl, fish, and fur-bearing animals for the hunting, fishing, and wildlife-related sporting and recreation needs of the public
  • Continue studies on Harmful Algal Blooms


Fulfilling our trust and insular responsibilities:  Combining traditional ecological knowledge with empirical studies allows the USGS and Native American governments, organizations, and people to increase their mutual understanding of and respect for this land. The President’s 2020 budget supports the following high-priority USGS programs:

  • Tribal self-determination and sovereignty by providing information, technical assistance, and training to Tribes, enabling them to address the complex natural resource issues they face
  • Monitoring and research activities across the Nation of benefit to Native communities, including an extensive network of streamflow gages and groundwater monitoring stations; training and technical assistance; data management and quality control; Geographic Information Systems; fish and wildlife assessments and monitoring; development of models and decision-making tools
  • Integration of tribal and indigenous ecological knowledge with more traditional science in management decisions and engagement in tribal outreach efforts


Protecting our people and the border:  The USGS provides natural hazards science that informs a broad range of disaster planning, situational awareness and response activities at local to global scales.  The President’s 2020 budget supports the following high-priority USGS programs:

  • Operate and maintain the ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning System
  • Improve the National Seismic Hazard Model, including updates for Alaska
  • Continue monitoring and assessing the Nation’s volcanoes for timely alerts on hazardous volcanic activity
  • Safeguard the Nation’s coastal regions by providing coastal hazard and vulnerability information
  • Deliver post-wildfire debris-flow hazard assessments after wildfires have occurred. These assessments are used to inform landslide response plans and to guide alerting for impacted areas
  • Maintain geomagnetic monitoring
  • Expand data collection networks, equipment, and flood inundation maps that improve capacity to provide information used for flood prediction


Modernizing our organization and infrastructure for the next 100 years:  A goal of the USGS is to balance mission-delivery demands with adequate investments in operations and maintenance to sustain the portfolio in an appropriate condition to continue to conduct science to support Interior's stewardship of America's public lands and natural resources.  The President’s 2020 budget supports the following high-priority USGS programs:

  • Restructure some USGS  programs, aligning land imaging, adaptation, and other priority functions with related programs
  • Relocate some headquarters functions West, improving effectiveness and efficiency by co-locating leadership with field staff,  closer to many partners, resulting in better communication
  • Advance USGS Information Management Technology solutions, including implementing a DOI Cloud Solution  


The USGS FY 2020 Budget Justification is available here, and additional details on the President's FY 2020 Budget are available on the Department’s website.



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