Unified Interior Regions

Region 2: South Atlantic-Gulf (Includes Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands)

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We conduct impartial, multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring to address a broad range of natural-resource issues that affect the quality of life of citizens and landscapes in the Southeastern United States and the Caribbean region.

News

Date published: September 1, 2021

USGS Responding to High Water Caused By Ida Across Multiple States

To learn more about USGS’s role in providing science to decision-makers before, during and after Hurricane Ida, visit www.usgs.gov/ida.

For information on what the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA are doing, visit: https://www.fema.gov/hurricane-ida.

For more on what the U.S. Government is Doing, visit: https://www.usa.gov/hurricane-ida or https://gobierno.usa.gov/huracan-ida for Spanish.

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Date published: June 16, 2020
Status: Active

Coastal Change Hazards

Natural processes such as waves, tides, and weather, continually change coastal landscapes. The integrity of coastal homes, businesses, and infrastructure can be threatened by hazards associated with event-driven changes, such as extreme storms and their impacts on beach and dune erosion, or longer-term, cumulative...

Date published: February 11, 2020
Status: Completed

Fish Chat and Slam November 2019

Fifty fish biologists from 15 organizations participated in a three-day Fish Chat and Slam event in South Florida on November 5-7, 2019.

Date published: January 28, 2020
Status: Active

Contaminants Assessment in the Coral Reefs of the Virgin Islands National Park and Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument

USGS collected samples at reef locations within the Virgin Islands National Park and analyzed for the presence of contaminants, organotin compounds, or sunscreen compounds.

Date published: November 8, 2019
Status: Active

Fine-Scale Dive Profiles and Activity Patterns of Sea Turtles in the Gulf of Mexico

Researchers are developing acceleration data logger pop-off packages that can be affixed to sea turtles to collect behavioral patterns of diving, surfacing, and general activity levels.

Date published: November 6, 2019
Status: Active

Applications of Advanced Tracking and Modeling Tools with Burmese Pythons across South Florida's Landscape

Researchers will determine movement rates and habitat-use patterns of pythons across the South Florida landscape by conducting a telemetry study tracking pythons simultaneously in several locations

Date published: November 6, 2019
Status: Active

Habitat Selection of the Burmese Python in the Florida Everglades

Researchers plotted locations of radio-tagged pythons to create a habitat suitability model.

Date published: November 6, 2019
Status: Active

Hotspot and Risk Analysis for Sea Turtles in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

Researchers will collect location data that will be used to identify areas of high-use for resident sea turtles in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. 

Date published: October 15, 2019
Status: Active

Spatial Ecology of Bobcats in the Greater Everglades

WARC researchers will estimate the density and distribution of bobcats in relation to environmental variables through the development of spatially explicit capture-recapture and occupancy models.

Date published: October 3, 2019
Status: Active

Topobathymetric Elevation Model of Outer Banks and Pamlico Sound, North Carolina

Pamlico Sound is ecologically important as it is the second largest estuary in the United States, and is the largest lagoon on the U.S. east coast. The sound is separated from the Atlantic Ocean by the Outer Banks, a series of low, sandy barrier islands that are vulnerable to hurricane storm surge and sea-level rise. The seamless high-resolution topobathymetric digital elevation model (TBDEM)...

Date published: September 18, 2019
Status: Active

Topobathymetric Elevation Model of Mobile Bay, Alabama

Mobile Bay is ecologically important as it is the fourth largest estuary in the United States. The Mobile Bay topobathymetric digital elevation model (TBDEM) was developed in collaboration between U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Coastal and Marine Geology Program (CMGP) and USGS National Geospatial Program (NGP) using a combination of 71 disparate topographic and bathymetric datasets collected...

Date published: September 13, 2019
Status: Active

Hurricane Dorian - Forecast and Documentation of Coastal Change

Hurricane Dorian coastal change forecast and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change.

Contacts: Kara Doran
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Date published: December 20, 2019

Suspended-sediment concentration data from water samples collected in 2016-17 in Grand Bay, Alabama and Mississippi

In wetlands within and near Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, parts of the salt marsh are eroding relatively rapidly. To understand the connection between sediment fluxes and these processes, the U.S. Geological Survey made oceanographic and water-quality measurements from August 2, 2016, to January 28, 2017

Date published: July 12, 2019

Crustal Architecture Beneath the Southern Midcontinent (USA) -- Data Grids and 3D Geophysical Models

Regional grid files and 3D voxel models were used to study crustal architecture beneath the Southern Midcontinent (USA) by McCafferty and others (2019). The study covered a rectangular, multi-state area of 924 by 924 kilometers centered on Missouri, and a corresponding volume extending from the topographic surface to a depth of 50 kilometers below sea level. The grid files consist of

Date published: July 1, 2019

Ground-based time-domain electromagnetic data and resistivity models for the Mississippi Alluvial Plain Project

The Mississippi Alluvial Plain (MAP) Project contains several geologic units which act as important aquifers. We collected several sets of time-domain electromagnetic (TEM) data consisting of two higher-density surveys and six regional-scale transects. The higher density surveys were collected to compare and contrast to other geophysical data not included in this data release, such as a

Date published: February 5, 2019

Hydrologic Conditions of Selected Reservoirs in Puerto Rico

The following graphs show water surface elevations above NGVD 1929 in selected reservoirs for several years, including 2015. The purpose of these graphs is to compare water surface elevations during 2015 with water surface elevations observed during years when documented droughts have occurred.

Date published: February 5, 2019

Hydrologic Conditions of Selected Reservoirs in Puerto Rico

The following graphs show water surface elevations above NGVD 1929 in selected reservoirs for several years, including 2015. The purpose of these graphs is to compare water surface elevations during 2015 with water surface elevations observed during years when documented droughts have occurred.

Date published: February 5, 2019

Water Level and Salinity Analysis Mapper

The Water Level and Salinity Analysis Mapper is designed to conduct automated statistical and graphical analyses on water-level and salinity data collected from sites monitored by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in South Florida.

Date published: January 1, 2019

Projected flood extent polygons and flood depth points based on 10-, 50-, 100-, and 500-year wave-energy return periods, with and without coral reefs, for the State of Hawaii (the islands of Hawaii, Kahoolawe, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, Molokai, Niihau, and Oahu

This part of the data release presents projected flooding extent polygon (flood masks) and flooding depth points (flood points) shapefiles based on wave-driven total water levels for the State of Hawaii (the islands of Hawaii, Kahoolawe, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, Molokai, Niihau, and Oahu). For each island there are 8 associated flood mask and flood depth shapefiles: one for

Date published: January 1, 2019

Projected flood extent polygons and flood depth points based on 10-, 50-, 100-, and 500-year wave-energy return periods, with and without coral reefs, for the Territory of Puerto Rico (the islands of Culebra, Puerto Rico, and Vieques)

This part of the data release presents projected flooding extent polygon (flood masks) and flooding depth points (flood points) shapefiles based on wave-driven total water levels for the Territory of Puerto Rico (the islands of Culebra, Puerto Rico, and Vieques). For each island there are 8 associated flood mask and flood depth shapefiles: one for each four nearshore wave energy

Date published: January 1, 2019

Projected flood extent polygons and flood depth points based on 10-, 50-, 100-, and 500-year wave-energy return periods, with and without coral reefs, for the State Florida (the Florida Peninsula and the Florida Keys)

This part of the data release presents projected flooding extent polygon (flood masks) and flooding depth points (flood points) shapefiles based on wave-driven total water levels for the State Florida (the Florida Peninsula and the Florida Keys). For each island there are 8 associated flood mask and flood depth shapefiles: one for each of four nearshore wave energy return periods %2

Date published: January 1, 2019

Projected flood extent polygons and flood depth points based on 10-, 50-, 100-, and 500-year wave-energy return periods, with and without coral reefs, for the Territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands (the islands of Saint Croix, Saint John, and Saint Thomas)

This part of the data release presents projected flooding extent polygon (flood masks) and flooding depth points (flood points) shapefiles based on wave-driven total water levels for the Territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands (the islands of Saint Croix, Saint John, and Saint Thomas). For each island there are 8 associated flood mask and flood depth shapefiles: one for each four n

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Sparrow Modeling North Carolina Watersheds Map
June 26, 2019

The USGS developed the SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes) modeling framework to relate water-quality monitoring data to upstream nutrient and sediment sources and watershed characteristics. The mapper can be used to evaluate alternative hypotheses about the relative importance of various pollutant sources.

Okeechobee County, Florida irrigated agricultural land-use GIS shapefile
February 28, 2019

This data set consists of a detailed digital map of individual irrigated fields and a summary of the irrigated acreage for the 2017 growing season developed for Okeechobee County, Florida. Selected attribute data that include crop type, irrigation system, and primary water source were collected for each irrigated field.

USGS
August 22, 2018

Flynn Creek crater is a 3.8 km diameter, 360-million-year-old impact structure located in north central Tennessee, and is an invaluable terrestrial analog for the study of impact cratering dynamics. The Flynn Creek Crater Sample Collection consists of over two thousand boxes of drill core from 18 drill holes in the crater’s central uplift, floor, and rim. 

Screenshot of Irma water footprint on a map
September 14, 2017

Hurricane Irma, the most intense hurricane observed in the Atlantic in the last decade, approached the west coast of Florida on September 10th, 2017. This animation shows the precipitation and river conditions through time as Irma moved over the southeastern United States.

Jordan Lake sample sites image
January 20, 2017

The New Hope arm of Jordan Lake, located in Chatham County, North Carolina, serves as a drinking-water supply for the Towns of Cary, Apex, and Morrisville. The reservoir is listed as impaired due to nutrient over-enrichment and occasionally experiences algal blooms and fish kills.

Map showing locations of physiographic provinces and bridge-scour investigation sites in South Carolina.
December 12, 2016

Development of a Guidance Manual for Assessing Scour Using the South Carolina Bridge-Scour Envelope Curves

Figure 1. Location of physiographic provinces and bridge-scour investigation sites in South Carolina.

Map of nutrient sampling sites Durham County, North Carolina
November 8, 2016

All data collected and analyzed by the USGS will be archived in the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS) database

Map of water sampling sites
October 25, 2016

The USGS and EPA project will be conducted at the North Carolina State University (NCSU) Lake Wheeler Road Field Laboratory (LWRFL) in Wake County, North Carolina. The LWRFL is an agricultural site used for both research and teaching purposes. The farm contains both a swine facility and a dairy facility with each having two animal-waste storage lagoons.

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Year Published: 2021

A protocol for modelling generalised biological responses using latent variables in structural equation models

In this paper we consider the problem of how to quantitatively characterize the degree to which a study object exhibits a generalized response. By generalized response, we mean a multivariate response where numerous individual properties change in concerted fashion due to some internal integration. In latent variable structural equation modeling (...

Akomolafe, Gbenga; Grace, James; Steiner, Magdalena

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Year Published: 2021

Instrumental variable methods in structural equation models

Instrumental variable regression (RegIV) provides a means for detecting and correcting parameter bias in causal models. Widely used in economics, recently several papers have highlighted its potential utility for ecological applications. Little attention has thus far been paid to the fact that IV methods can also be implemented within structural...

Morrissey, Michael; Grace, James

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Year Published: 2021

Extreme precipitation and flooding contribute to sudden vegetation dieback in a coastal salt marsh

Climate extremes are becoming more frequent with global climate change and have the potential to cause major ecological regime shifts. Along the northern Gulf of Mexico, a coastal wetland in Texas suffered sudden vegetation dieback following an extreme precipitation and flooding event associated with Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Historical salt marsh...

Stagg, Camille; Osland, Michael; Moon, Jena A.; Feher, Laura; Laurenzano, Claudia; Lane, Tiffany C.; Jones, William; Hartley, Stephen

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Year Published: 2021

First documentation of long-distance travel by a Florida manatee to the Mexican Caribbean

West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus) are separated into two allopatric subspecies: the Florida manatee (T. m. latirostris) and the Antillean manatee (T. m. manatus). In the winter of 2020–2021, an adult manatee was sighted off the coast of Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico, in areas where Antillean manatees are not typically seen. The individual...

Castelblanco-Martínez, Nataly; Álvarez-Alemán, Anmari; Torres, Raul; Teague, Amy L.; Barton, Sheri; Rood, Kari A; Ramos, Eric A; Mignucci-Giannoni, Antonio A.

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Year Published: 2021

Identifying climate-resistant vernal pools: Hydrologic refugia for amphibian reproduction under droughts and climate change

Vernal pools of the northeastern United States provide important breeding habitat for amphibians but may be sensitive to droughts and climate change. These seasonal wetlands typically fill by early spring and dry by mid-to-late summer. Because climate change may produce earlier and stronger growing-season evapotranspiration combined with...

Cartwright, Jennifer M.; Morelli, Toni Lyn; Campbell Grant, Evan H.

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Year Published: 2021

Unexpected diversity of Endozoicomonas in deep-sea corals

ABSTRACT: The deep ocean hosts a large diversity of azooxanthellate cold-water corals whose associated microbiomes remain to be described. While the bacterial genus Endozoicomonas has been widely identified as a dominant associate of tropical and temperate corals, it has rarely been detected in deep-sea corals. Determining microbial...

Kellogg, Christina A.; Pratte, Zoe A.

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Year Published: 2021

Watershed and estuarine controls both influence plant community and tree growth changes in tidal freshwater forested wetlands along two U.S. mid-Atlantic rivers

The tidal freshwater zone near the estuarine head-of-tide is potentially sensitive to both sea-level rise and associated salinity increases as well as changing watershed inputs of freshwater and nutrients. We evaluated the vegetation response of tidal freshwater forested wetlands (TFFW) to changes in nontidal river versus estuarine controls along...

Noe, Gregory B.; Bourg, Norman A; Krauss, Ken; Duberstein, Jamie A.; Hupp, Cliff R.

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Year Published: 2021

Using ALOS-2 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and interferometric SAR to detect landslides on the mountainous island of Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia

This study was undertaken by the U.S. Geological Survey to assess the detectability of landslides in the densely forested and mountainous island of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia. The study used existing field-observed land-cover changes and landslides visible on Google Earth (GE) images. A limited number of ALOS-2 PALSAR-2 L-band...

Ramsey III, Elijah W.; Rangoonwala, Amina
Ramsey, E.W., III, and Rangoonwala, A., 2021, Using ALOS-2 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and interferometric SAR to detect landslides on the mountainous island of Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1084, 28 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20211084.

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Year Published: 2021

Evaluation of actual evapotranspiration rates from the Operational Simplified Surface Energy Balance (SSEBop) model in Florida and parts of Alabama and Georgia, 2000–17

Evapotranspiration (ET) is the water-vapor flux transported from the surface of the Earth into the atmosphere and is the sum of surface water directly evaporated and subsurface water transpired by plants. ET rates are commonly estimated by using potential or reference ET, which might differ from actual ET rates. Actual evapotranspiration (ETa)...

Sepúlveda, Nicasio
Sepúlveda, N., 2021, Evaluation of actual evapotranspiration rates from the Operational Simplified Surface Energy Balance (SSEBop) model in Florida and parts of Alabama and Georgia, 2000–17: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2021–5072, 66 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20215072.

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Year Published: 2021

Holocene evolution of sea-surface temperature and salinity in the Gulf of Mexico

Flows into and out of the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) are integral to North Atlantic ocean circulation, and help facilitate poleward heat transport in the Western Hemisphere. The GoM also serves as a key source of moisture for much of North America. Modern patterns of sea-surface temperature (SST) and salinity in the GoM are influenced by the Loop...

Thiumalai, Kaustubh; Richey, Julie N.; Quinn, Terrence M.

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Year Published: 2021

Coastal wetland shoreline change monitoring: A comparison of shorelines from high-resolution WorldView satellite imagery, aerial imagery, and field surveys

Shoreline change analysis is an important environmental monitoring tool for evaluating coastal exposure to erosion hazards, particularly for vulnerable habitats such as coastal wetlands where habitat loss is problematic world-wide. The increasing availability of high-resolution satellite imagery and emerging developments in analysis techniques...

Smith, Kathryn; Terrano, Joseph; Pitchford, Jonathan L; Archer, Michael

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Year Published: 2021

New amphibian and reptile parish records from Louisiana, USA

Dundee and Rossman (1989) published distribution maps of Louisiana herpetofaunal species in The Amphibians and Reptiles of Louisiana over 30 years ago. Since then many records have been published, mostly in Herpetological Review, documenting additions to these original maps. Though many are single species additions, several compilations of new...

Glorioso, Brad

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Floodplain and Channel Evaluation Tool (FACET)
December 4, 2019

The Floodplain and Evaluation Tool (FACET) is an open-source python tool that maps the floodplain extent and derives reach-scale summaries of stream and floodplain geomorphic measurements from high-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs).

multicolored map of Ocean Shores, Washington
April 13, 2017

The Pedestrian Evacuation Analyst is an ArcGIS extension that estimates how long it would take for someone to travel on foot out of a hazardous area that was threatened by a sudden event such as a tsunami, flash flood, or volcanic lahar. It takes into account the elevation changes and the different types of landcover that a person would encounter along the way.

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August 30, 2021

Reducing Flood Risks by Restoring Coral Reefs

View audio described version.

The increasing risk of flooding along our coasts is driven by climate change, development and habitat loss.

Powerful climate-fueled hurricanes such as Irma and Maria in 2017 caused significant damage to coastal communities in Florida and Puerto Rico, not

August 30, 2021

Reducing Flood Risks by Restoring Coral Reefs (AD)

 

View the non-AD version.

The increasing risk of flooding along our coasts is driven by climate change, development and habitat loss.

Powerful climate-fueled hurricanes such as Irma and Maria in 2017 caused significant damage to coastal communities in Florida and Puerto Rico, not

Map of U.S. mainland showing temperate, transitional and tropical temperature patterns
March 16, 2021

U.S. regions in the tropical-to-temperate transition

A map showing North America's tropical-to-temperate transition zone. Red, orange, and yellow depict the more tropical zones, and blues depict the more temperate zones, based on to the coldest recorded temperature for each area between 1980 and 2009. Photos show some cold-sensitive plants and animals with northern range limits governed by winter cold temperature extremes.

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A school of snook, large subtropical game fish, in a Florida spring
March 15, 2021

Subtropical snook gather at a warm Florida springhead in winter

 Winter temperature extremes control the distributions of subtropical fishes. Common snook (Centropomus undecimalis), aggregate at a spring in northern Florida during winter. Snook are warm saltwater game fish, common in Florida, that have been moving further northward as extreme cold spells become less frequent and less intense.

 

Map of Earth MRI critical minerals projects in Texas
September 29, 2020

Earth MRI Funds Critical Minerals Projects in Texas

USGS map of Earth MRI projects in Texas' Trans-Pecos region announced in September 2020.

hurricanes and tropical storms in 9.15.2020 NOAA satellite image
September 15, 2020

USGS Scientists Work on Four Tropical Cyclones at Once

In this NOAA satellite image from Sept. 15, 2020, Hurricane Sally approaches the U.S. Gulf Coast, Hurricane Paulettte creates storm waves far out in the Atlantic, and Tropical Storms Teddy and Vicky lie near the coast of Africa. Two tropical depressions are also developing; one of them is not visible in this image.

Hurricane Isaias coastal change forecast map 8.1.2020
August 1, 2020

Hurricane Isaias Unlikely to Cause Widespread Atlantic Beach Erosion

USGS coastal change experts predict that storm waves kicked up by the Category 1 hurricane are likely to cause some erosion at the base of the dunes along about 11 percent of coastal beaches between Florida and Virginia. However, only about one percent of beaches in the region are likely to have waves overwashing the dunes, and inundation - the most severe type of beach

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Map of SW Puerto Rico coast and seafloor
May 14, 2020

Finding Seafloor Faults Linked to Puerto Rico Earthquake

Map of the portion of the southwest coast of Puerto Rico affected by an earthquake sequence that began in December 2019, along with portions of the seafloor where faults involved in the earthquake sequence were suspected to exist. (A related image shows indications of seafloor faulting found on a USGS seismic research cruise led by USGS research geophysicist Uri ten Brink

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Map of seismic research site on seafloor off Puerto Rico
April 30, 2020

Scientists find signs of undersea faults off SW Puerto Rico

Locations of multichannel seismic reflection profiles (in black), collected during cruise FA2020-14. The profiles are overlain on colored and shaded multibeam bathymetry, Lidar topography (green and white) and near-shore bathymetry (darker blue), and NOAA coastal relief model (light blue and white). Dashed purple lines – hypothesized faults from the distribution of

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A USGS hydrologic technician sits on the bank of a stream and uses an Acoustic Dopler Current Profiler to measure streamflow
September 1, 2021

To learn more about USGS’s role in providing science to decision-makers before, during and after Hurricane Ida, visit www.usgs.gov/ida.

For information on what the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA are doing, visit: https://www.fema.gov/hurricane-ida.

For more on what the U.S. Government is Doing, visit: https://www.usa.gov/hurricane-ida or https://gobierno.usa.gov/huracan-ida for Spanish.

Underwater instrument package that collected unique, high-resolution underwater ocean observations during Hurricane María.
May 12, 2021

Unique observations collected by U.S. Geological Survey scientists during Hurricane María in 2017, revealed previously unknown ocean processes that may aid in more accurate hurricane forecasting and impact predictions.

Scuba diver on a coral reef with tools to measure coral
February 8, 2021

Nursery-grown elkhorn coral transplanted into Dry Tortugas National Park survived and thrived, growing twice as fast as corals planted in other locations in the Florida Keys, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study published in Endangered Species Research.

USGS team with Wanda Vazquez-Garced, governor of Puerto Rico
October 7, 2020

What happens when a 6.4 magnitude earthquake strikes Puerto Rico and the public needs critical information? How does a mostly English-speaking science agency reach a mostly Spanish-speaking public?

Map of Earth MRI critical minerals projects in Texas
September 29, 2020

A total of $134,453 will fund new research and preserve important data across the Lone Star State

hurricanes and tropical storms in 9.15.2020 NOAA satellite image
September 15, 2020

Laura and Sally affecting Gulf Coast, waves from Paulette and Teddy to strike Atlantic beaches

To learn more about USGS’s role in providing science to decision-makers before, during and after Hurricane Sally, visit usgs.gov/sally.

Follow Region 2 activities on social media, get contact information for Region 2 USGS centers, and meet Region 2's staff and center directors. 

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