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2011: Interior Thanks USGS for Flood Efforts

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Anne Castle Message
8/3/11

Good morning! Iím Anne Castle, Iím the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at the Department of the Interior, and I have the great privilege of overseeing the USGS. I wanted to take this opportunity of this gathering of the Nationís best water scientists in Minneapolis to thank you for the extraordinary work that youíve done this year in these unprecedented water events that we have had. I know that many of you have been out at all hours repairing damaged streamgages, deploying rapid deployment gages, doing all sorts of work to take advantage of and respond to the extraordinary events that we have seen. I actually had the privilege of getting to see one of the rapid deployment gages when I was visiting the North Dakota Water Science Center in May. So I got a little bit of a flavor for the high water events that have been experienced and the kind of work that you are doing.

Weíve, this year, seen your work on water gages, not just stream flows though, but you are also out there measuring water quality and sediment transport, scouring around bridge abutments, changes in the channels, and all of those things that really make a difference to people on the ground. Weíve experienced this year not just high water events, although those have been prevalent, particularly in the Midwest. But weíve also seen some record lows, some record droughts in areas like Southern New Mexico, and Oklahoma, and Texas, and parts of the Southeast. And your work there has been very important and really provided the baseline for declarations of natural disaster areas that have at least allowed some funding relief to be brought to farmers and farming communities. So, you have been out there doing amazingly cool science and really advancing the state of our knowledge about these extreme events, both highs and lows. And thatís particularly important right now when weíre thinking that these kinds of extreme events might become the new normal. So youíre helping us figure out how to respond to this changing climate.

But not only is your work important for the advancement of science, itís crucial to the public health and safety. Itís the USGS data, from stream flows and water quality gages thatís being used by the Corps of Engineers to make decisions about when to open spillways, or weather to do intentional breeches of levees. Itís the USGS data thatís being used by the U.S. Coast Guard to give advisories about navigation, and currents, and changes in the channel. Itís the USGS data thatís used by the National Weather Service to give early warnings about floods that have been so critical in keeping people safe. Itís the USGS data from streamgages thatís used by the Bureau of Reclamation to make decisions about how to operate their reservoirs and dams. And itís the USGS data that States are using to issue their own emergency orders, or evacuation orders.

So, that work that you are doing has been so critical, and really is responsible saving lives. Youíve been required to work at all hours, weekends, nights, youíve been out there deploying those gages, repairing the ones that have been damaged, youíve had to work nights and weekends. Some of you have been deployed to other states to help where help was most needed. So youíve had to spend time away from your homes. And much of this has been done in dangerous conditions, or even uncomfortable conditions. So I want you to know that your work, particularly this year, has been recognized, it hasnít gone unnoticed. I want you to know that you have my thanks and my gratitude, and Marcia McNuttís also, for everything that you have been doing. Thank you!

Details

Title: 2011: Interior Thanks USGS for Flood Efforts

Description:

Devastating floods across much of the U.S. were severe and unrelenting during the spring and summer of 2011. Countless USGS crews responded to the floods. Often working in dangerous conditions, USGS scientists measured streamflow and river levels, repaired and installed streamgages, measured water quality, and documented river changes. This science is critical for flood preparations and response. In this video, Anne Castle, Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, thanks USGS for its effort.

Location: Washington, DC, Main Interior Building, USA

Date Taken: 8/3/2011

Length: 4:37

Video Producer: Don Becker , U.S. Geological Survey


Note: This video has been released into the public domain by the U.S. Geological Survey for use in its entirety. Some videos may contain pieces of copyrighted material. If you wish to use a portion of the video for any purpose, other than for resharing/reposting the video in its entirety, please contact the Video Producer/Videographer listed with this video. Please refer to the USGS Copyright section for how to credit this video.

Additional Video Credits:

Producer: Don Becker

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Tags: 2011 2011springflood DOI USGS devastation flooding landsat naturalhazards river satellite sediment streamflow streamgage waterquality

 

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