USGS plans to use Recovery Act funds to address eight program areas:
1) Deferred Maintenance-Facilities (DM); +$29.4 million: USGS will address the highest priority deferred maintenance projects at its owned facilities.
2) Construction (C); +$17.8 million: The USGS Investment Review Board (IRB) has reviewed projects where construction is the preferred alternative to eliminate deferred maintenance and address other health and safety issues. Three construction projects were approved by the IRB as the most cost effective way to address the issues at research centers. Recovery Act funding will make it possible to begin work on these projects immediately.
3) Deferred Maintenance – Streamgages, Cableways, and Wells (ER); +$14.6 million: USGS operates streamgages and wells with state and local funding partners; when partners no longer co-fund the streamgages and wells, sites are usually closed and remediated. Over the past decades, funds were not available to remediate some of these sites or to adequately maintain some currently operated sites.
4) Upgrades to Streamgages (SG); +$14.6 million: The USGS national streamgage network (NSN) (7,500 sites) is dependent on a NOAA-operated satellite, which is scheduled for conversion to new high-data rate radio (HDR) technology in 2013. USGS will use Recovery Act funding to upgrade to HDR technology and upgrade streamgages with new technologies for streamflow measurement. The HDR radios will provide improved data quality to data users through more timely data transmissions This is particularly important during periods of flooding when emergency and water managers critically need timely information to warn surrounding communities affected by water surge.
5) Earthquake Monitoring (SV);+$29.4 million: USGS will use Recovery Act funding to make a substantial impact on the modernization component of the Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS) by doubling the number of ANSS-quality stations and upgrading seismic networks nationwide, to bring the total from approximately 800 to 1600. These improved networks will deliver faster, more reliable and more accurate information – helping to save lives by providing better situational awareness in the wake of the damaging earthquakes that can strike this nation at any time. Earthquakes are one of the most costly natural hazards faced by the Nation, posing a significant threat to 75 million Americans in 39 states.
6) Volcano Monitoring (SV); +$15.2 million: USGS will use Recovery Act funding to modernize equipment in the National Volcano Early Warning System (NVEWS) through modernization of monitoring equipment at all USGS volcano observatories. The U.S. and its territories are one of the most volcanically-active regions in the world, with 169 active volcanoes. As many as 54 of these potentially dangerous volcanoes need improved monitoring. Volcano monitoring can protect lives and avoid significant economic losses.
7) Imagery and Elevation Data for Mapping (NM); +$14.6 million: USGS maps are used in myriad ways: hazard response, vegetation change, land cover assessment, coastal erosion change, and determining boundaries. Recovery Act funding will allow USGS to improve mapping data, which will then be made available for multiple uses including flood mapping, emergency operations, and natural resource management. The highest priority areas that need elevation data are over coastal areas of the United States that are most susceptible to storm and hurricane flooding, earthquake damage, and coastal erosion.
8) Data Preservation (DP); +$448,000: Researchers and resource managers across the country utilize bird banding information to track the populations, flight patterns and resting areas of migratory birds. Recovery Act funding will make it possible to digitize and make available to the public via the Internet, the historical banding recovery and bird banding records.