Opening Remarks by
Gordon P. Eaton
Director, U.S. Geological Survey
USGS Workshop


February 4, 1997 National Center Auditorium, Reston, Virginia

Good afternoon. It is my pleasure to welcome you to this workshop on "Expanding Sediment Research Capabilities in Today's USGS".

I am pleased to see the initiative taken by individuals in the different divisions of USGS in bringing together scientists with contrasting backgrounds but similar interests.

Issues related to sediments are only one of the many areas wherein the incorporation of the National Biological Service into the USGS, as the Biological Resources Division, provides a unique opportunity within the science community to integrate the physical and biological sciences.

There is renewed interest in sediment issues these days for a number of reasons, including the realization that:

  1. the health of aquatic biological communities is intrinsically linked to suspended and bed sediment,

  2. that sediment particles may transport and distribute contaminants throughout the aquatic environment and provide potential pathways for biological exposure, and that

  3. new modeling capabilities enable prediction of the effects of various management strategies on river channels, reservoirs, wetlands, and estuaries.

The controlled flood experiment conducted this past year by the USGS and other Department of Interior agencies on the Colorado River below the Glen Canyon dam is but one successful example of these modeling capabilities.

We need, however, to explore more fully the range inflow- and sediment-modeling capabilities and expand these models to address additional ecologically relevant issues.

I am also very pleased to see representatives of other Federal agencies here -- it provides not only the opportunity for Geological Survey scientists to listen and learn of your needs and concerns but also to identify opportunities for collaboration.

In these days of shrinking Federal budgets, it is more important than ever that we develop partnerships to leverage our combined resources in order to provide an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to accomplish our work and help solve the environmental and other issues facing society today.

I wish you a very successful and productive meeting here today and in the 2 days that follow in Harper's Ferry.

Workshop Proceedings
Contributions from Other Federal Agencies
Contribution from the USGS