Senate passes Digital Coast bill authorizing NOAA’s Digital Coast program

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May 25, 2017

On May 25, the Senate passed the Digital Coast Act (S.110) to help coastal communities prepare for storms, adapt to rising sea levels, and strengthen economic planning efforts. S.110 officially authorizes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Digital Coast program. The bill was introduced by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and cosponsored by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), and Cory Booker (R-NJ).

NOAA currently assembles and maintains the Digital Coast Project, an online database of coastal management information for both the private and public sectors. It also provides coastal communities with the tools, resources, and trainings needed to manage their resources and make informed decisions and investments. S.110 supports the further development of the Digital Coast Project, which already exists under NOAA, by authorizing the program to integrate the next phase of NOAA’s coastal mapping techniques. The bill increases public access to the most up-to-date information to enhance hazards response and mitigation, and help communities plan for long-term coastal resilience. Specifically, S.110 directs NOAA to “establish public tools that are capable of tracking ocean and Great Lake economy data for each coastal state.”

The bill was received in the House of Representatives on May 26.

Sources: Library of Congress, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Senate