The Interagency Working Group on Ocean and Coastal Mapping (IWG-OCM) is a working group of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology (SOST), and also reports to the Ocean Science and Technology (OST) Subcommittee of the Ocean Policy Committee (OPC) via the National Ocean Mapping, Exploration, and Characterization (NOMEC) Council. SOST serves as the lead interagency entity for Federal coordination on ocean science and technology. The IWG-OCM came into existence in 2006 to "facilitate the coordination of ocean and coastal mapping activities and avoid duplicating mapping activities across the Federal sector as well as with State, industry, academic and non-governmental mapping interests" (National Ocean and Coastal Mapping Strategic Action Plan 2009). The IWG-OCM was established in law by the Ocean and Coastal Mapping Integration Act of 2009 (OCMIA). The body also represents the ocean and coastal mapping aspects of elevation on the Federal Geographic Data Committee's 3D Nation Elevation Subcommittee.
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)
BOEM promotes energy independence, environmental protection and economic development through responsible exploration and development of offshore energy and marine mineral resources
on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) based on the best available science. Mission-focused mapping, exploration and characterization efforts guide and inform responsible management
of offshore resources, particularly for: (1) site characterization for offshore energy development and supply of marine critical minerals; (2) energy and mineral resource assessment;
(3) locating sensitive benthic habitats, submerged cultural resources, undersea cables, etc., to ensure those resources are protected and for environmental analyses;
(4) locating sediment resources that are suitable to fulfill coastal nourishment and protection projects; and (5) administration of official offshore marine cadastral data, which
includes lease grids and various offshore boundaries for jurisdictional enforcement and resource management. For more info,
Department of Energy (DOE)
The mission of DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is to create and sustain American leadership in the transition to a global clean energy economy.
Its vision is a strong and prosperous America powered by clean, affordable, and secure energy. EERE has a strategic goal to increase the generation of electric power from
renewable sources. Through reducing the cost of hydropower and solar, wind, wave and tidal, and geothermal power, EERE can increase renewable generation. EERE’s Water Power
Technologies Office enables research, development, and testing of emerging technologies to advance marine energy. For more information, visit
Department of State (DOS)
Within the Department of State, the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs develops, coordinates, negotiates, and implements U.S. foreign policy with
respect to marine science and research, including Marine Scientific Research Consent. Annually, OPA facilitates diplomatic marine scientific research consent for U.S. scientists to conduct
more than 300 hundred research cruises in over 70 coastal states. OPA manages the review process which issues consent to dozens of foreign scientists a year to conduct research in U.S. waters.
For more information, visit https://www.state.gov/marine-scientific-research/.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
EPA’s mission is to protect human health and the environment working under the authorities of an array of statutes to ensure that Americans have clean air, land and water.
To accomplish this mission, EPA develops and enforces regulations, provides grants to states and other partners, conducts research to solve environmental problems, works in
partnership with other organizations, and conducts educational activities. For more information, visit
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
FEMA conducts hazard analyses and mapping studies to produce Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and other products that inform local coastal communities and residents about their risk of flood
and other natural hazards. Over the past several years, FEMA has been evaluating and updating flood maps along the populated U.S. coastlines, in close collaboration with other federal
agencies, states, local communities, nonprofits and academia, and the private sector. Through collaboration with these partners, FEMA has developed advanced methodologies for determining the
flood risk along the coast, which are used to update the FIRMs. FEMA has also developed several programs to support flood hazard analysis specific to coastal conditions, including the Coastal
Hazard Analysis Modeling Program, RUNUP software, and Wave Height Analysis for Flood Insurance Studies. For more information,
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
NASA develops innovative airborne and satellite remote sensing technology, computer models, and analysis tools to better understand the Earth as an integrated system for societal benefit.
NASA maps and characterizes coastal regions as part of its ocean observing and modeling strategy, delivering long-term data records relevant to physical oceanography, biology, chemistry,
ecology, atmospheric science and climate. Repeat satellite observations allow the understanding of the integrated ocean sciences over time. Over the past 50 years, its ocean remote sensing
has involved the full suite of multispectral optical, thermal, and radar technologies. The wide variety of science data products derived from these missions are validated using ship and
airborne platforms. Satellite missions that have contributed to coastal and nearshore bathymetric mapping include the Landsat series, ICESat-2, and JASON series. The NASA Earth Science Data
and Information System supports processing, archiving, documenting, and distributing data from past and current Earth-observing satellites and field measurement programs, promoting open
sharing with the general public. For more information, visit https://science.nasa.gov/earth-science.
The U.S. Navy is responsible for providing oceanographic products and services to all elements of the Department of Defense, per 10 USC 8951. From data collection through production and analysis,
Naval Oceanography provides the warfighter the best available knowledge of the maritime battlespace. This includes tailored oceanographic, hydrographic, bathymetric, geophysical, and acoustic
products and services to DoD customers worldwide that aid in safe navigation and effective mission planning. As part of the U.S. Navy’s research enterprise, the Office of Naval Research conducts
science and technology research to enable warfighter superiority, including technologies, platforms and techniques for seafloor and water column mapping and characterization as well as the fundamental
research in ocean acoustics, oceanography, geology, geophysics and biology that enable characterization of the global oceans in support of Naval missions.
For more info, visit https://www.metoc.navy.mil/.
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)
With approximately 40% of the U.S. population living in coastal communities along the nation’s shorelines, accurately analyzing, mapping, preparing for, and mitigating the flood hazards in
these areas is critical to addressing the threat of hurricanes, tropical storms, and sea-level rise. NGA provides resources and FEMA guidance materials for coastal flood hazard analysis and
mapping, as well as mitigation, preparedness, and recovery information on reducing coastal hazard risk. Map resources are intended for mapping professionals and contractors and hazard mitigation
planners. NGA delivers world-class geospatial intelligence that provides a decisive advantage to policymakers, warfighters, intelligence professionals, and first responders.
For more information, visit https://home.gs.mil.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
NOAA is an active supporter of integrated ocean and coastal mapping, which advocates collaborative engagement across federal, state and other partner lines for shared efficiencies
in ocean mapping, exploration and characterization in order to 'map once and use many times.' For more information,
National Park Service (NPS)
U.S. national parks are established to preserve their beauty, national significance, and natural and cultural legacy for the American people. As part of the Department of Interior, NPS
conserves and protects a variety of ocean and coastal natural, cultural and historical resources. Detailed topobathymetric data and related habitat maps are important management tools
that allow parks to: 1) protect natural and cultural resources; 2) better prepare and manage for change and disturbance; and 3) prioritize response and restoration. The NPS has adopted
a national benthic and topobathymetric mapping priority to increase the agency’s organizational and scientific capacity focused on ocean and coastal issues. For more information,
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
As a member of the National Cooperative Soil Survey, NRCS is the lead Federal agency for mapping and interpreting our nation’s soil resources, including in our coastal zone areas. NRCS
supports rigorous scientific content from field data gathering and research, diverse and uniquely effective partnerships, and modern techniques to produce spatial and tabular seamless
soil surveys as well as the timely distribution of the data to all users. NRCS knows that more refined and detailed scientifically based coastal zone soil mapping, data, and interpretations
are achievable. With vast improvements to remotely sensed data including LIDAR, aerial photography and topobathy, much of the spatial, coastal updates can be remotely assessed and verified
with minimal time in the field. This collaborative, goal-oriented mapping will not only address the soil data needs of conservation planners and engineers, but it will also confront emerging
issues such as climate change, coastal resiliency, estuary restoration, small and large-scale watershed use planning, and environmental literacy. Baseline coastal zone soil survey data is
already guiding the protection, conservation, and management of our nearshore coastal waters and natural resources. NRCS is also the lead federal agency for implementing conservation solutions
to protect natural resources on private lands, including those found along coastal zones. Voluntary conservation solutions offer more resilient landscapes, healthier soils, clean and abundant
water, and thriving communities to help feed a growing world. For more information,
National Science Foundation (NSF)
The NSF is an independent federal agency that promotes science to advance national health, prosperity, and welfare as well as secure national defense. The Geosciences Directorate
(GEO) provides about 64% of the Federal funding for basic research at academic institutions in geosciences nationwide. GEO’s Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE) supports basic
research that advances frontiers of knowledge and drives technological innovation in ocean science. Projects funded by NSF have brought together a unique set of high-value national
and international assets, including the ocean observatories initiative (OOI), regional class research vessels (RCRV), and the JOIDES Resolution ocean drilling vessel. OCE additionally
advances ocean technology innovations through its Ocean Technology and Interdisciplinary Coordination program. NSF supports the University-National Oceanographic Laboratories System
(UNOLS), which coordinates the Academic Research Fleet, collaborating and partnering across U.S. funding agencies to conduct ocean science and technology research with a diverse
fleet capable of operating in coastal, open ocean, and Great Lakes waters. All ocean mapping and characterization data collected under OCE awards via NSF assets, the Academic
Research Fleet, or other mechanisms are made publicly available within two years of collection. NSF supports ocean mapping data curation and visualization products by supporting
the Global Multi-Resolution Topography (GMRT) Data Synthesis initiative, a multi-resolution compilation of edited multibeam sonar data collected by scientists and institutions worldwide.
These programs can help our communities better anticipate flood events, understand changing coastal ecologies, and explore the ocean floor. For more information,
Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)
TThe Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) was launched on April 21, 2005 to improve information sharing, promote a strategic, unified direction, and ensure integration across the U.S. Intelligence Community. It is led by a Director of National Intelligence, who serves as the head of the Intelligence Community (IC), overseeing and directing the implementation of the National Intelligence Program and acting as the principal advisor to the President and the National Security Council for intelligence matters related to defense of the homeland and of United States interests abroad. The core mission of the ODNI is to lead the IC in intelligence integration. Intelligence integration means synchronizing collection, analysis, and counterintelligence so that they are fused, effectively operating as one team. This mission manifests in the effective execution of integrated intelligence elements supporting policymakers in civilian departments, the U.S. military, Congress, and tribal/local/state governments. The breadth and scope of ODNI maritime expertise includes missions tailored to support a wide range of IWG OCM objectives. For more information,
The Smithsonian Institution was established by an act of Congress in 1846 as an independent federal trust instrumentality, a unique public-private partnership. Smithsonian has considerable
biodiversity data and expertise, including the collections at the National Museum of Natural History (in partnership with NOAA), MarineGEO network of coastal marine biodiversity observation
platforms, marine invasive species monitoring (in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard), and expertise in systematics and ecology of marine biodiversity. For more info, visit
United States Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) National Coastal Mapping Program/Joint Airborne Lidar Bathymetry Technical Center (JALBTCX)
The USACE National Coastal Mapping Program (NCMP) was started in 2004 to collect regional, high-resolution, and high-accuracy elevation and imagery data around the coast of the US
on a recurring basis (nominally every 5 years) in support of regional sediment management (RSM). RSM is a cross-cutting initiative to manage sediment as a resource among the system
of navigation, flood risk management, and ecosystem restoration projects in the coastal zone. NCMP data and derived information products (digital surface models, digital elevation models,
air photo mosaics, hyperspectral image mosaics, shorelines) and changes detected between repeat surveys provide insight into coastal processes that can be used to effectively manage these
coastal projects within a regional context. NCMP is executed by JALBTCX, a collaboration in airborne coastal mapping and charting among USACE, the U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office, NOAA,
and USGS. JALBTCX owns and operates (with contractor support) airborne coastal mapping and nautical charting sensors worldwide to meet requirements of the partners. There is capacity
within the JALBTCX sensor/aircraft fleet and calendar to accommodate additional work for NOMEC if funds are made available to do so. For more information,
United States Arctic Research Commission (USARC)
The USARC is an independent federal agency created by the Arctic Research and Policy Act of 1984. It is a presidentially appointed advisory body. As required by law, USARC releases,
to the President and Congress, a biennial “Report on the Goals and Objectives for Arctic Research,” which regularly emphasizes the importance and value of mapping of Arctic waters
and lands, especially those in Alaska. The Commission also develops and recommends an integrated national Arctic research policy and builds cooperative links in Arctic research within
the federal government, with the State of Alaska, and with international partners. The law also requires the Commission to report to Congress on the progress of the Executive Branch in
reaching goals set by the Commission and on their adoption by the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC). For more information,
United States Coast Guard (USCG)
The Coast Guard maintains more than 50,000 Federal aids to navigation, including buoys, lighthouses, beacons, and radio-navigation signals on the nation’s waterways. In addition, it
operates Vessel Traffic Services in key ports and waterways to coordinate the safe movement of commercial vessels. Coast Guard missions include drug interdiction, defense readiness,
migrant interdiction, coastal security, marine safety and security, maintenance of aids to navigation, management of living marine resources, marine environmental protection, and ice
operations. For more information, visit https://www.uscg.mil/.
United States Forest Service (USFS)
As part of the Department of Agriculture, USFS’ mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and
future generations. To advance its mission and serve its purpose, USFS (1) works in collaboration with communities and partners; (2) provides access to resources and experiences that
promote economic, ecological, and social vitality; and (3) delivers world-class science, technology and land management. USFS works with USGS to create topographic mapping products from
geospatial data representing the nation’s surface waters, drainage networks, and related features, including rivers, streams, canals, lakes, ponds, glaciers, coastlines, dams, and stream
gages. For more information, visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/about-agency.
United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
As part of the Department of Interior, the USFWS has trust responsibility for the many resources within the U.S. marine and coastal zone. Jurisdiction includes the Marine National Monuments,
National Wildlife Refuges, fish hatcheries, migratory bird habitats, as well as threatened and endangered coastal and aquatic species and related habitat. Coastal bathymetric, satellite
and aerial imagery data especially related to hydrography, wetlands and other essential fish habitat are necessary for current and future planning efforts and responsible management of our
resources. The FWS is also the steward of the National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) data and has mapped all coastal wetlands and deepwater habitat for the entire continental U.S. and is in the
process of completing Alaska over the next decade. Collaboration for data collection between NWI, Coastal and Refuge programs and other mapping agencies is essential to further program missions.
For more information, visit https://www.fws.gov/wetlands, https://www.fws.gov/coastal,
United States Geological Survey (USGS)
As part of the Department of Interior, USGS includes coastal and ocean areas in its mapping missions in support of science research, including the Coastal and Marine Hazards and Resources
Program, Mineral Resources Program, National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program, and the National Geospatial Program. USGS relies on high-quality acoustic and lidar bathymetry and
backscatter, orthoimagery data, sub-bottom profiling and sampling data for geologic, mineral, and hazard-related assessments. The 3D Elevation Program, which is managed by the USGS on
behalf of Federal, state, local, and other partners, is acquiring topographic lidar for the nation, including the coastal zone. The main contracting vehicle for acquiring geospatial data
is the Geospatial Products and Services Contracts. The USGS Coastal National Elevation Database develops integrated topobathymetric models for U.S. coastal areas, the Great Lakes, and select
western Pacific islands and atolls. Integrated high-resolution coastal elevation data are essential for mapping inundation zones from hurricanes and sea-level rise, and for other Earth
science applications, such as sediment transport, erosion, and storm impact models. For more information,