On December 2, the Senate approved by unanimous consent the Digital Coast Act and the bill is now heading to the president’s desk for his signature. The Digital Coast Act (S. 1069) was introduced by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) to inform and improve local state, regional, and federal capacities to manage the coastal regions of the country. Its passage represents a major victory for ASFPM and its partners.
ASFPM is among the eight founding members of the Digital Coast Partnership, which has been advocating for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Digital Coast Act since
2013. After lots of legwork, countless meetings on Capitol Hill, and a strong and steady push to educate and advocate, it’s gratifying to see it all come to fruition.
“As often happens with meaningful legislation, it can take years for seeds planted with policy makers to bear fruit,” said Chad Berginnis, CFM, executive director of ASFPM. “It has been quite a journey but in the end, the Digital Coast Act is good policy for the nation.”
“This legislation will strengthen the incredibly popular Digital Coast Program, which makes it possible for local leaders in our coastal communities to make decisions with clear, current, and useful information,” said Senator Baldwin. “While Digital Coast helps make management choices clear, the work behind those decision tools is incredibly complex. I am proud to support the great work of geospatial professionals and coastal management experts in the private sector and at all levels of government who make it possible for local leaders to have clear data that informs their decisions. The Digital Coast Act will strengthen this important program and support the great work they do to deliver top notch, reliable information relied on by emergency responders, coastal planners, and businesses.”
In addition to ASFPM, other organizations supporting the Digital Coast Act include Quantum Spatial, Inc., The Nature Conservancy, Wisconsin Society of Land Surveyors, U.S. GEO, National Society of Professional Surveyors, National States Geographic Information Council, MAPPS (a national association of geospatial firms), American Planning Association, Coastal States Organization, National Association of Counties, and the Digital Coastal Partnership Advocacy Coalition. Read what these supporters are saying about the Digital Coast Act.