Congressional Briefing to Release Study Showing NOAA’s Geodetic Services Worth $2.4 Billion Annually

This event will focus on the NOAA-managed National Spatial Reference System (NSRS), the official U.S. government source for precise latitude, longitude and elevation measurements. According to a new independent study, the system provides more than $2.4 billion in annual benefits to the U.S. economy.

The briefing will also launch a new NOAA initiative designed to replace the existing North American Vertical Datum established in 1988 (NAVD88). The initiative, “Gravity for the Redefinition of the American Vertical Datum” (GRAV-D), will allow surveyors and scientists to employ GPS to determine more precise and accurate elevations than currently possible, reducing elevation measurement errors from a range of 16 inches to six feet, to under an inch.

Improving vertical data will reduce elevation errors in floodplain mapping. This could affect the placement of building structures, highways, and public safety requirements, including levee construction and evacuation routes and subsequently impact insurance rates. GRAV-D will also help users anticipate the potential damage associated with coastal storms, river flooding, sea level rise, and climate change that a home, road, or other structure might incur.

Formal program followed by an Open House with posters and displays. This will be an opportunity for the media to learn about NOAA’s positioning services and why they are critical to the country, as well as interact with Congressional members, staff, and partners.

Monday, June 15, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

U.S. Capitol Visitor Center Room 215

The Honorable Mark Begich, U.S. Senator, Alaska (invited)
The Honorable Mary Landrieu, U.S. Senator, Louisiana (invited)
Juliana Blackwell, Director, NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey
Windell Curole, General Manager, South Lafourche Levee District, Galliano, Louisiana
Roy Dokka, Director, Louisiana Spatial Reference Center, LSU
Nick Mastrodicasa, Project Manager, Alaska Aviation Safety Project
Gary Thompson, Director, North Carolina Geodetic Survey
Irv Leveson, Economic and Strategic Analysis, Leveson Consulting

Senate Commerce Committee, House Committee on Natural Resources, and House Ocean Caucus members and staff, as well as more than 40 federal, state, and non-governmental organizations

Media: Open to media.
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