APPENDIX D The Relation Between the USGS Geologic Division Goals and the Coastal and Marine Geology Program

REVIEW OF THE GEOLOGIC DIVISION'S GOALS AND THEIR IMPACT ON CMGP

The recently published document entitled "Geology for a Changing World" (USGS, 1998h) presents a science strategy for the years 2000–2010 for the Geologic Division of the USGS. The document identifies seven science goals aimed at addressing pressing issues facing the nation in the next decade, and they include traditional areas of research for the Geologic Division, as well as societal issues that are becoming increasingly important due to concerns about the preservation of the environment and the quality of life.

USGS Geologic Division Strategic Science Goals, 2000–2010

1. Conduct geologic hazard assessments for mitigation planning.

2. Provide short-term prediction of geologic disasters and rapidly characterize their effects.

3. Advance the understanding of the nation's mineral and energy resources in a global geologic, economic, and environmental context.

4. Anticipate the environmental impacts of climate variability.

5. Establish the geologic framework for ecosystem structure and function.

6. Interpret the links between human health and geologic processes.

7. Determine the geologic controls on groundwater resources and hazardous waste isolation.



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Science for Decisionmaking: Coastal and Marine Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey APPENDIX D The Relation Between the USGS Geologic Division Goals and the Coastal and Marine Geology Program REVIEW OF THE GEOLOGIC DIVISION'S GOALS AND THEIR IMPACT ON CMGP The recently published document entitled "Geology for a Changing World" (USGS, 1998h) presents a science strategy for the years 2000–2010 for the Geologic Division of the USGS. The document identifies seven science goals aimed at addressing pressing issues facing the nation in the next decade, and they include traditional areas of research for the Geologic Division, as well as societal issues that are becoming increasingly important due to concerns about the preservation of the environment and the quality of life. USGS Geologic Division Strategic Science Goals, 2000–2010 1. Conduct geologic hazard assessments for mitigation planning. 2. Provide short-term prediction of geologic disasters and rapidly characterize their effects. 3. Advance the understanding of the nation's mineral and energy resources in a global geologic, economic, and environmental context. 4. Anticipate the environmental impacts of climate variability. 5. Establish the geologic framework for ecosystem structure and function. 6. Interpret the links between human health and geologic processes. 7. Determine the geologic controls on groundwater resources and hazardous waste isolation.

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Science for Decisionmaking: Coastal and Marine Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey Within the Geologic Division, a number of programs exist to conduct the studies necessary to accomplish these goals. Goals 1 and 2 clearly justify the need for hazards programs (earthquake hazards, volcano hazards, landslide hazards, and the global seismic network). Minerals and energy resources programs address Goal 3, and the earth systems dynamics program is aimed at Goal 4. The geologic mapping and ecosystems programs address aspects of Goals 5 and 6, and mapping is an important component of studies to address Goal 7, although there is no explicit program to address Goal 7. The National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (NCGMP) and the CMGP stand out as not being explicitly tied to a GD science goal. The NCGMP clearly provides the basic framework for almost all geological studies, and hence it encompasses mapping at a variety of spatial and temporal scales to address many of the science goals. The CMGP is focused on the marine and Great Lakes geographic regions, hence the studies that are conducted under its auspices span all GD science goals. GD Scientific Programs Program   FY99 Budget Hazards     • Earthquake   $50.4M • Volcano   $19.8M • Landslides   $2.4M • Global Seismic Network   $3.8M Resources     • Minerals   $62.7M • Energy   $26.0M Earth Systems     • Geologic Mapping   $22.5M • Coastal and Marine   $38.2M • Ecosystems   $2.6M • Earth Surface Dynamics   $13.6M RELATION OF CMGP THEMES AND SUBTHEMES TO THE GEOLOGIC DIVISION SCIENCE GOALS In 1994, the USGS implemented a five-year CMGP that outlined proposed studies to understand the coastal and offshore areas of the United States. This plan was modified in 1997 to take advantage of new opportunities and issues and to account for changes in budgets and staffing. The stated mission of the CMGP of the USGS is to "provide the nation with

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Science for Decisionmaking: Coastal and Marine Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey objective and credible marine geologic science information based on research, long-term monitoring, and assessments.'' The program is designed to (i) describe marine and coastal geologic systems, (ii) understand the fundamental processes that create, modify, and maintain them, (iii) develop predictive models that provide an understanding of natural systems and the effects of human activities on them, and (iv) provide a capability to predict future change. The 1997 Five Year Plan identifies four themes, each with 2–4 subthemes, as the focus of investigations by CMGP. Coastal and Marine Geology Program Themes and Subthemes Theme 1: Environmental Quality and Preservation To understand sediment and pollutant erosion, transport and deposition, fragile environments, the importance to the nation of sea-and lake-floor environments as biological habitats, and as record keepers of long-term environmental change. Subtheme 1: Pollution and Waste Disposal Subtheme 2: Fragile Environments Subtheme 3: Marine Reserves and Habitats Theme 2: Natural Hazards end Public Safety To better understand the frequency and distribution of catastrophic events that elicit federal response (storms, earthquakes, and landslides), the geologic processes acting in the affected marine and coastal regions (e.g., coastal erosion), and the local and regional susceptibility to change. Subtheme 1: Coastal and Nearshore Erosion Subtheme 2: Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Landslides Theme 3: Natural Resources To develop and extend understanding of the formation, location, and geologic setting of offshore mineral and petroleum resources, the geologic effects of resource extraction, and how offshore resource occurrence can help in the search for analogous onshore deposits of economic significance (could address areas outside the EEZ). Subtheme 1: Water Resources (Coastal Aquifers) Subtheme 2: Marine Mineral Resources Subtheme 3: Energy Resources Theme 4: Information and Technology To develop and maintain a national comprehensive source of multidisciplinary data and information that can be easily accessed and used by government policymakers, research scientists, and the public, and to maintain scientific instrumentation and platforms necessary to carry out research and mapping activities. Subtheme 1: Systematic Mapping of the Coast and Seafloor Subtheme 2: Coastal and Marine Information Bank Subtheme 3: Assessments and Evaluation of the Information Bank Subtheme 4: Technology and Facilities

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Science for Decisionmaking: Coastal and Marine Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey The Committee to Review the USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program compared the CMGP themes and their stated goals with the GD's seven strategic science goals. The GD goals approach the geological studies of the environment from the ''impact or change" (whether natural or anthropogenic) perspective, which results in a disconnection between them and the areas of interest in CMGP Theme 1. Environmental Quality and Preservation (Theme 1) consists of a collection of unrelated topics. Studies of long-term environmental change through the sedimentary record do not truly address issues of environmental quality and preservation. Sediment erosion, transport, and deposition are naturally occurring processes rather than environmental quality and preservation issues, unless disrupted by human activity. The transport and fate of pollutants is an environmental quality issue and supports GD Goal 7. The preservation of fragile environments and biological habitats clearly depends on the successful conduct of GD Goal 5, but their health can also be affected naturally by climate variability (Goal 4) or by human activity. The role of the CMGP in conservation of marine and coastal areas as marine sanctuaries is one of seafloor mapping of bottom morphology and biological habitats for management purposes, which fits better under Theme 4, Subtheme 1: Systematic Mapping of the Coast and Seafloor. The committee is concerned that activities in Theme 1 do not provide a coherent scientific program. If it is recognized that GD Goals 4 and 5 require an understanding of the dynamic geologic and biologic systems that interact in the coastal and marine environments, then a revision of Theme 1 to reflect the need for systems studies would encompass the range of environments and processes already included in the stated objective. Natural Hazards and Public Safety (Theme 2) clearly addresses GD Goals 1 and 2 and has consequences for Goal 6, so there appears to be an appropriate match. The GD approaches geological studies of the environment from the "hazard, impact or change" (whether natural or anthropogenic) perspective, which fits well with CMGP Theme 2. However, in the GD, there are four other programs that address hazards of various types (the earthquake, volcano, landslides, and global seismic network programs), and how the CMGP efforts dovetail into the larger efforts by these other programs is a concern of the committee. Natural Resources (Theme 3) encompasses and directly reflects GD Goal 3. The committee noted that the statement of the scope of studies in Theme 3 omits investigations related to Subtheme 1: Water Resources (Coastal Aquifers), which add another dimension to the theme. However, the relative roles that the CMGP and the USGS Water Resources Division should play in studies of water resources and intrusion of saltwater into coastal aquifers is unclear. If the main effort of the CMGP is to provide the geologic framework of the coastal region so that the Water Resources Division can assess the impact of saltwater intrusion on freshwater resources, that effort could be better included in Theme 4, Subtheme 1: Systematic Mapping of the Coast and Seafloor. If the CMGP intends to include detailed studies of subsurface fluid flow in the nearshore area, then inves-

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Science for Decisionmaking: Coastal and Marine Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey tigation of water resources needs to be included as a goal of Theme 3. Another important issue is how CMGP studies integrate with those of the Minerals and Energy Resources Program in the GD. Information and Technology (Theme 4) and the four subthemes in it address a series of infrastructure issues rather than a scientific or environmental theme. It focuses on the responsibility of the CMGP to manage the information and data that are collected and to disseminate them in a form of use to the public and to policy-and decisionmakers. This theme addresses the operational objectives of the GD, which were put in place to improve the usefulness and accessibility of information and to promote the flexibility and vitality of the staff. The six operational objectives are: Greatly enhance the public's ability to locate, access, and use GD maps and data; Maintain a first-rate earth-system library; Effectively transfer the knowledge acquired through GD science activities; Promote vitality and flexibility of the scientific staff; Promote interdisciplinary research; and Institute internal and external reviews. Clearly, information management and dissemination, maintenance of scientific instrumentation, and access to platforms represent important functions of CMGP that must be maintained as a critical operational component of the program. However, the committee recommends that the themes and subthemes should be limited to scientific and environmental issues in the coastal and offshore regions.