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February 10, 2020

Budget Focuses on Bringing Science, Facilities, and Infrastructure into the 21st Century

Today, President Trump proposed a $971.2 million Fiscal Year 2021 budget for the U.S. Geological Survey that prioritizes scientific inquiry for effective stewardship of America’s natural resources and natural hazard monitoring and assessments.

“President Trump’s 2021 budget request for the Department is about investing in our people and public lands and waters," said Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt. "He is committed to the mission of conservation and creating more public access for Americans to fully enjoy our national treasures and landscapes. This budget is a critical step in the right direction and provides a path to restore commonsense in our budgeting process.” 

"The President’s proposed budget reflects the USGS’s mission of providing the very best science-based information and data to serve the needs and interests of American communities and people," said Jim Reilly, director of the USGS. "The 2021 budget focuses on continuing to advance our scientific capabilities and bringing our facilities and infrastructure into the 21st Century; and enhancing our ability to execute the USGS core mission to provide early warnings and tools to ensure the safety of our Nation, as well as provide assessments on natural resources to maintain a flourishing and resilient economy."

Protect our people and the border: USGS natural hazards science informs a broad range of disaster planning, situational awareness and response activities at local to global levels.  To further these activities, the President’s 2021 budget supports the following high-priority programs:

  • Monitoring the Nation's earthquakes via the Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS) and through support of several regional seismic networks operated by university partners.
  • Operating the ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning System.
  • Monitoring and assessing the Nation’s volcanoes for timely alerts on hazardous volcanic activity.
  • Safeguarding the Nation’s coastal regions by providing coastal hazard and vulnerability information.
  • Delivering post-wildfire debris-flow hazard assessments. These assessments inform landslide response plans and guide alerting for impacted areas.
  • Maintaining geomagnetic monitoring in support of national and economic security.
  • Operating data collection networks and developing flood inundation maps that improve capacity to provide information used for flood prediction.
  • Continuing the magnetotelluric survey of the contiguous United States to provide insights key to energy and mineral resource development, groundwater management, and electric-grid resiliency.

Create a conservation stewardship legacy: The USGS conducts monitoring and research to provide scientific understanding of the Nation’s land, water and species challenges. To address these challenges, the President’s 2021 budget supports the following high-priority programs:

  • Developing the Landsat 9 ground station, keeping pace with NASA satellite development to meet a fiscal year 2021 launch, and developing recommendations for follow-on Earth observation tools and systems to affordably meet the needs of future geospatial users.
  • Conducting science to manage invasive species and fish and wildlife diseases that pose significant ecological, human health, or economic threats to the resources of the United States.
  • Utilizing and advancing USGS observational networks to guide the development of water prediction capabilities through the Integrated Water Prediction program.
  • Continuing operation of the Next-Generation Water Observing System (NGWOS) in the Delaware River Basin and initial implementation of NGWOS in the headwaters of the Colorado and Gunnison River Basin.
  • Furthering the 3DElevation Program (3DEP), a USGS-coordinated partnership delivering high-quality, three-dimensional topographic data representations of the Nation’s natural and constructed features, to achieve baseline national coverage by 2025.
  • Developing and delivering the National Integrated Water Availability Assessment (IWAA), a near-real time census of water resources that will evaluate water availability for human and ecological use, infrastructure, security and economic optimization.
  • Working with many partners to support management agencies with science to sustain harvest of game, waterfowl, fish, and fur-bearing animals for hunting, fishing, and wildlife-related recreation.
  • Continuing studies on Harmful Algal Blooms.

Sustainably develop our energy and natural resources: The USGS provides science that helps inform stewardship of American energy and mineral resources to meet our security and economic needs. To address these needs, the President’s 2021 budget supports the following high-priority programs:

  • Releasing USGS assessments of undiscovered, technically recoverable energy resources (including oil and gas, methane hydrates, coal, uranium, and geothermal) in priority basins in the United States and globally; continuing the fundamental geological, geophysical, and geochemical research that underpins these assessments.
  • Developing information, technologies, and monitoring protocols used by Federal and State agencies in the design and siting of energy, transportation, and other infrastructure projects to reduce conflict with wildlife, streamline development, and comply with applicable laws and regulations. 
  • Providing geophysical and geological data to help establish the outer limits of the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf.

Modernize our organization and infrastructure: The USGS sustains mission delivery with investments to maintain the portfolio in an appropriate condition to continue our role in Interior's stewardship of America's public lands and natural resources. To achieve this goal, the President’s 2021 budget supports the following high-priority programs:

  • Providing access to advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and high-performance computing and developing convergent Information Management Technology (IMT) architecture by providing cloud hosting solution advancements.
  • Restructuring the USGS from seven to five mission areas.
  • Continuing  space consolidation at Moffett Field in Mountain View, CA and relocating some USGS Mineral Resources labs and personnel currently in Lakewood, CO, into a new facility on the campus of the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO.
  • Continuing an effective maintenance program at each USGS-owned facility to meet industry best practices.

The USGS FY 2021 Budget Justification is available at the USGS budget website. Additional details on the President's FY 2021 Budget are available on the Department’s website.

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