Senate Passes Hydrographic Services Improvement Act Amendments of 2008

September 26, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate today passed S. 1582, the Hydrographic Services Improvement Act Amendments of 2008, which reauthorizes the Hydrographic Services Improvement Act (HSIA). The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s hydrographic services are vital to maritime commerce and to assist in the protection of our environment.

S. 1582 was introduced by Commerce Committee Chairman Daniel K Inouye (D-Hawaii) and cosponsored by Senators Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine).

Hydrography is the science that measures and describes the physical features of bodies of water and their littoral land areas. These activities are vital to making sure our nation’s marine transportation system remains safe, efficient, and environmentally sound. A safe and efficient marine transportation system supports and promotes international trade and interstate commerce that is central to the nation’s economic prosperity.

The HSIA was enacted in 1998 and amended in 2002. The House passed a companion bill, H.R. 3352, on March 31, 2008.