Please wait...


Coalition letter supporting 3DEP to USGS Director Reilly


June 20, 2018

We, the undersigned organizations, enthusiastically support the U.S. Geological Survey’s 3D Elevation Program (3DEP). As you begin your stewardship over the Survey’s wide variety of programs, we ask that you prioritize 3DEP and work with the diverse community of stakeholders which partner with the USGS leadership on this nationwide program that continues to gain traction, not only in Congress, but within the Department of the Interior at large, as well as other Federal, state and local government agencies and the private sector.

3DEP will satisfy the growing demand for consistent, high-quality elevation data and a wide range of other three-dimensional representations of the Nation’s natural and constructed features. The USGS has identified more than 600 applications that would benefit from enhanced elevation data. These data, procured from 3DEP, can be applied to flood risk management, agriculture, water supply, homeland security, renewable energy, aviation safety, telecommunications, and infrastructure, to name just a few. 3DEP will promote economic growth, facilitate responsible environmental protection and resource development and management, assist with infrastructure and communication improvements, and generally enhance the quality of life of all Americans.

The USGS, with involvement from the private sector and other stakeholders, conducted a National Enhanced Elevation Assessment (NEEA) to determine and document the need for national elevation data within government and private markets. The results indicated that enhanced elevation data have the potential to generate $13 billion in annual benefits, at a benefit-to-cost ratio of 4.7 to 1. The USGS has previously recommended that $146 million will enable USGS to achieve nationwide coverage of the United States on an 8-year cycle, as originally conceived in the USGS plan for 3DEP.

Thank you for the opportunity to share our views and we look forward to working with you to build on past success and further improve the U.S. Department of the Interior’s surveying, mapping andgeospatial activities.


Ellen Bergfeld, PhD
Alliance of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Science Societies

Allyson K. Anderson Book
Executive Director
American Geosciences Institute

Scott Grayson
Executive Director
American Public Works Association

Ellen Bergfeld, PhD
American Society of Agronomy

Brian Pallasch
Managing Director of Government Relations and Infrastructure Initiatives
American Society of Civil Engineers

Steve Masterman
Association of American State Geologists

Chad Berginnis
Executive Director
Association of State Floodplain Managers

Daniel Castro
Center for Data Innovation

Ellen Bergfeld, PhD
Crop Science Society of America

Nick Crossley, CEM
International Association of Emergency Managers

Gabe Maser
Vice President
Federal Relations International Code Council

Sue Lowry
Executive Director
Interstate Council on Water Policy

John Peterson
Director of Government Relations
Land Improvement Contractors of America

Greg Brown
Senior Vice President
Government Affairs National Apartment Association

Elizabeth Mendenhall
National Association of REALTORS®

Michael A. Sprayberry
National Emergency Management Association

Leila Taha
National Flood Association

Jim Goldwater
Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs
National Association of Tower Erectors

Cindy Chetti
Senior Vice President
Government Affairs National Multifamily Housing Council

Curtis W. Sumner, LS (VA)
Executive Director
National Society of Professional Surveyors

Molly Schar
Executive Director
National States Geographic Information Council

Nathaniel F. Wienecke
Senior Vice President for Federal Government Relations
Property Casualty Insurers Association of America

Ellen Bergfeld, PhD
Soil Science Society of America


1856 Old Reston Avenue, Suite 205 Reston, Virginia 20190
P (703) 787-6665; F (703) 787-7550