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Atlantic Offshore-Aggregates Meeting in Philadelphia Features Interagency Cooperation—in More Ways than One

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On November 12, 1999, 27 participants from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Minerals Management Service, USGS, NOAA, and state and academic organizations met at the Corps of Engineers District Offices in Philadelphia. The goal was to inventory coastal sediment databases and GIS developments related to available aggregate resources and management in the NY-NJ coastal area. Co-organizers of the meeting, hosted by Susan Lucas, Chief of Planning for the Philadelphia District, were Frank Manheim (USGS-Reston), Charles Chesnutt (Corps of Engineers-DC), and Roger Amato (MMS, Herndon, VA). Manheim reported on the cooperative sediment database development, and Brad Butman (USGS-Woods Hole) presented offshore geophysical mapping results from a recent Massachusetts Bay GIS compendium.

Offshore aggregates are essential to replenish damaged beaches and provide clean capping material for waste sites. The NY-NJ coastal area was chosen as a demonstration project for coordination and cooperative products because of multiple problems and concentrations of agency activities and projects. Charles Chesnutt remarked that "Every inch of the area from Cape May to Montauk Point is under construction or study by the Corps of Engineers." The Corps is under pressure from Congress to enlist cooperation from other organizations in its work.

The first step is the detailed inventory of data and GIS studies that is under way. Interested persons can follow this activity on the Web site.

Interagency cooperation was demonstrated in personal ways as well. Frank Manheim, who had his foot in a cast after complex surgery, was helped from his hotel to the meeting by Charles Chesnutt (USACE), and was assisted (not without problems) in getting to the Amtrak station by MMS staffers Roger Amato and John Rowland.

Related Web Sites
Atlantic Margin Offshore Aggregates Workshop
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

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