Text: H.R.6215 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (09/23/2010)

2d Session
H. R. 6215

To authorize the Secretary of Commerce to establish a program to develop a coordinated and comprehensive Federal coastal mapping effort for the Nation’s coastal zone to include all coastal State and territorial waters of the United States, and for other purposes.


September 23, 2010

Mr. Ruppersberger introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources


To authorize the Secretary of Commerce to establish a program to develop a coordinated and comprehensive Federal coastal mapping effort for the Nation’s coastal zone to include all coastal State and territorial waters of the United States, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Digital Coast Act of 2010”.

SEC. 2. Findings.

The Congress finds that—

(1) more than half of all people of the United States, 153 million people, currently live on or near a coast and an additional 12 million are expected in the next decade;

(2) coastal counties in the United States average 300 persons per square mile, compared with the national average of 98;

(3) on a typical day, more than 1,540 permits for construction of single-family homes are issued in coastal counties, combined with other commercial, retail, and institutional construction to support this population;

(4) much of the 95,000 miles of United States shoreline does not have current, accurate maps and geospatial information;

(5) the lack of current and accurate remote sensing and geospatial data on United States coasts, harbors, and ports results in an environmental, infrastructure, economic, and homeland security vulnerability for the Nation;

(6) the Federal Government can and should play an important role in the development and demonstration of innovative remote sensing and other geospatial techniques to improve the management of the coast of the United States, comprehensive emergency preparedness and response in the event of a tsunami, storm surges, and oil spills as well as for homeland security;

(7) highly accurate, high resolution remote sensing and other geospatial data, including elevation data, play an important role in management of the coastal zone, including flood prediction capabilities; risk, vulnerability, and hazard assessments; emergency response plans; permitting and zoning decisionmaking; and landscape change detection; as well as port security and other homeland security applications;

(8) the full range of applications of remote sensing and other forms of geospatial information to meet national requirements has not been adequately explored or exploited; and

(9) the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in coordination with other agencies, can play a unique role in demonstrating how commercial remote sensing and other private sector geospatial capabilities can be applied to assist State, local, regional, and tribal agencies in emergency preparedness, emergency response, homeland security, infrastructure management, environmental decisionmaking, and other applications in such areas as agriculture, weather forecasting, and forest management.

SEC. 3. Definitions.

In this Act—

(1) the term “digital coast” means a constituent-driven effort led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to provide an enabling platform that integrates geospatial data, decision support tools, training, and case studies to address coastal and emergency management issues;

(2) the term “remote sensing and other geospatial” mean collecting, storing, retrieving, or disseminating graphical or digital data depicting natural or man-made physical features, phenomena, or boundaries of the Earth and any information related thereto, including surveys, maps, charts, satellite and airborne remote sensing data, images, and services performed by professionals such as surveyors, photogrammetrists, hydrographers, geodesists, cartographers, and other such services;

(3) the term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Commerce, acting through the Director of the Coastal Services Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and

(4) the term “State”—

(A) means a State of the United States in, or bordering on, the Atlantic, Pacific, or Arctic Ocean, the Chesapeake Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, Long Island Sound, or one or more of the Great Lakes; and

(B) includes Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands, American Samoa, and any portion of a State that is located within 100 kilometers of the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean, the Chesapeake Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, or the Great Lakes.

SEC. 4. Coastal services centers.

(a) Establishment.—The Secretary may establish coastal services centers as may be needed to facilitate products and services to address the needs of local, State, and regional entities involved with coastal and ocean decisionmaking including those State coastal management and research reserves benefitting from this Act.

(b) Purpose.—The purpose of the coastal services centers shall be to—

(1) support the environmental, social, and economic well being of the coast by linking people, information, and technology;

(2) collaborate with various branches of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, other Federal agencies, and nongovernmental entities to bring data, information, services, and tools to the Nation’s coastal and ocean decisionmakers; and

(3) identify and address region-specific needs and increase capabilities to address them at the local, State, and regional levels.

(c) Financial agreements.—To carry out the responsibilities of this Act, including to provide program support to non-Federal entities that participate in implementing this Act, the Secretary may enter into financial agreements including, but not limited to, grants, cooperative agreements, interagency agreements, and contracts with other Federal, tribal, State and local governmental and nongovernmental entities.

SEC. 5. Remote sensing and other geospatial data layers.

(a) In general.—The projects carried out by the Secretary pursuant to section 4 shall collect and integrate other available coastal data with—

(1) shallow bathymetric data;

(2) airborne elevation data;

(3) large-scale land use and land cover maps;

(4) benthic habitat and aquatic vegetation mapping;

(5) parcel data;

(6) planimetric data; and

(7) socioeconomic and human use data.

(b) Coordination.—The Secretary shall coordinate the activities carried out pursuant to this Act to maximize data sharing and integration and minimize duplication by—

(1) coordinating activities when appropriate, with—

(A) other Federal efforts, including the Ocean and Coastal Mapping Integration Act (33 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1451 et seq.), and the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act of 2009 (33 U.S.C. 3601 et seq.);

(B) coastal States and United States territories;

(C) local governments; and

(D) representatives of nongovernmental entities;

(2) participating, pursuant to section 216 of Public Law 107–347 (44 U.S.C. 3501 note), in the establishment of such standards and common protocols as are necessary to assure the interoperability of remote sensing and other geospatial data with all users of such information within—

(A) the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration;

(B) other Federal agencies;

(C) State and local government; and

(D) the private sector;

(3) coordinating with, seeking assistance and cooperation of, and providing liaison to the Federal Geographic Data Committee pursuant to Office of Management and Budget Circular A–16 and Executive Order No. 12906; and

(4) providing for the utilization of contracts with the private sector, to the maximum extent practicable, to provide such products and services as are necessary to collect remote sensing and other geospatial data; which contracts shall be considered “surveying and mapping” services as such term is used and as such contracts are awarded in accordance with the selection procedures in chapter 11 of title 40, United States Code.

SEC. 6. Authorization of appropriations.

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary $100,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2011 through 2016 to carry out this Act.