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Representatives Betty McCollum (MN) and Steven LaTourette (OH) to Receive USGS Coalition Leadership Award

WASHINGTON, Sept. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being issued by USGS Coalition:

What:  USGS Coalition Congressional Reception Honoring Representatives McCollum and LaTourette
When:  Wednesday, 12 September 2012, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Where:  Rayburn Foyer, Rayburn House Office Building

In honor of their long-term support for the scientific programs and personnel of the United States Geological Survey (USGS), Representatives Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Steven LaTourette (R-OH) will be presented with the USGS Coalition's Leadership Award. The award will be presented during the Coalition's annual reception on 12 September from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building's Rayburn Foyer. During the reception USGS scientists and their collaborative partners will discuss the vital work the agency conducts in the biological, geographical, geological, and hydrological sciences.

"We are pleased to recognize Representatives LaTourette and McCollum for their sustained efforts to champion the scientific programs of the United States Geological Survey. Their leadership in Congress has helped increase awareness of the USGS," stated Dr. Robert Gropp, chair of the USGS Coalition and director of public policy at the American Institute of Biological Sciences. "Representatives McCollum and LaTourette clearly understand that USGS research in biology, geology, water and geography provides the American people with vitally important information every day. USGS research and information contribute to economic growth, improve the public health and safety, and enhance our ability to wisely manage our natural resources."

Congressman LaTourette is serving his ninth term in the U.S. House of Representatives and represents Northeast Ohio's 14th Congressional District. He serves on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, which oversees funding for the USGS and other Department of Interior programs. As a member of the subcommittee, LaTourette plays an important role in ensuring that the USGS has the resources it needs to provide the department and the nation with the scientific information required to make informed decisions. He emphasizes effective use of tax dollars in the management of these natural and cultural resources with a keen understanding that these resources also enhance economic development.

"I'm flattered by the award. I truly believe the only way we can protect our country's greatest natural resources is to understand them better. It's one of the reasons I'm such a huge fan of the USGS work and have been a proud supporter of it for these past 18 years in Congress," states Congressman LaTourette. 

Representative McCollum is serving her sixth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Minnesota's 4th District. In 2000, Congresswoman McCollum made history as the second Minnesota woman elected to serve in Congress since statehood in 1858. She serves on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, which oversees funding for the USGS. Her strong support of USGS science to manage natural resources and improve clean energy technologies emphasizes her commitment to environmental stewardship and global economic competitiveness.

Representative McCollum attests, "It is an honor to be recognized by the U.S. Geological Survey Coalition for the work we do together to wisely manage America's natural resources so that we can improve public health and grow our economy. Communities and businesses across our country rely on the scientific information USGS provides to make informed decisions. I will continue working with my Republican and Democratic colleagues in Congress to ensure USGS has the resources it needs to serve the American people."

The USGS Coalition is an alliance of over 70 organizations united by a commitment to the continued vitality of the United States Geological Survey and its ability to provide critical data and services to the nation. The Coalition supports increased federal investment in USGS programs that underpin responsible natural resource stewardship, improve resilience to natural and human-induced hazards, and contribute to the long-term health, security, and prosperity of the nation.

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