The National Space Policy announced by the White House on July 28, 2010 recognized the Department of the Interior's expertise and accomplishments in remote sensing to provide data and advance research for science and natural resource management. This policy states:
The Secretary of the Interior, through the Director of the United States Geological Survey (USGS), shall:
- Conduct research on natural and human-induced changes to Earth’s land, land cover, and inland surface waters, and manage a global land surface data national archive and its distribution
- Determine the operational requirements for collection, processing, archiving, and distribution of land surface data to the United States Government and other users; and
- Be responsible, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence, for providing remote sensing information related to the environment and disasters that is acquired from national security space systems to other civil government agencies.
"The National Space Policy confirms Interior’s important role in land imaging and remote sensing in coordination with NASA," said Interior Assistant Secretary Anne Castle. "The unbiased, comprehensive data this program provides is vital to our efforts to better understand and manage land, water, and our natural resources. We look forward to working with government agencies at all levels — Federal, State, local and tribal —to promote a broad, public understanding of land and water conditions in our Nation and around the globe."
"Land remote sensing is a crucial tool in our efforts to develop broad, effective, holistic approaches to both mitigate and adapt to the environmental challenges of our day," said Castle, who oversees Interior's Water and Science agencies.