Ask Your Representative to Cosponsor Legislation Recognizing the Value of the USGS

This year is the 125th anniversary of the establishment of the United States Geological Survey (USGS), which now includes biology, geography, geology, and hydrology programs. At the request and with the support of the USGS Coalition, United States Representative James P. Moran (D, VA-8th) and eleven cosponsors (listed below) have introduced bipartisan legislation, H.Res. 556, intended to demonstrate Congress? support for the USGS. The House Resolution (available at provides scientists, educators, and others that utilize and benefit from USGS programs, such as the National Biological Information Infrastructure, Cooperative Research Units, real-time stream gauge data, and many others, to educate their U.S. Representative about the importance of the USGS to our national biological sciences research infrastructure, public health and safety, and economic growth.

What you can do

To help advance this legislation, contact your United States Representative and ask them to cosponsor H.Res. 556, bipartisan legislation recognizing the importance of the United States Geological Survey. To make your request more powerful, briefly explain how USGS research and data products benefit you or your local community. For example, you might relate how USGS stream gauges help local emergency planners concerned about flooding or biologists working to understand fish ecology, or how the National Biological Information Infrastructure contributes to your research. More information about USGS biology, geography, geology, and hydrology programs in your state is available at

Because of security-related delays with mail delivery to Congressional offices, you should fax or e-mail your request to your Representative?s Washington, DC office. You may send an e-mail to your Representative using the Write Your Representative function on the U.S. House of Representatives website at

If your Representative is already a cosponsor of this legislation, send them a brief e-mail thanking them for their support of the USGS. Original sponsors of H.Res. 556: Reps. James Moran (D, VA-8th); Barbara Cubin (R, WY); Norman Dicks (D, WA-6th); Ron Kind (D, WI-3rd); Zoe Lofgren (D, CA-16th); Nick Smith (R, MI-7th); Sherwood Boehlert (R, NY-24th); Tom Davis (R, VA-11th); Anna Eshoo (D, CA-14th); Eddie Bernice Johnson (D, TX-30th); Ralph Regula (R, OH-16th); and C.W. Bill Young (R, FL-10th).

Sample Letter to U.S. Representative

The Honorable (full name)
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. (last name):

Note: when sending an e-mail it is wise to include the purpose of the e-mail in the subject line, but keep it clear (e.g., please cosponsor H.Res. 556 or please support USGS). Also, clearly indicate your name, address, city, state and 9-digit zip code at the top of your message.

Tips for an effective letter

  • Clearly state the purpose of your letter in the first paragraph. For example, I am writing to ask that you cosponsor H.Res. 556, bipartisan legislation congratulating the United States Geological Survey on its 125th anniversary.
  • Be courteous and to the point. Include key and accurate information, such as the bill number or correct name of the program to which you refer. As appropriate include examples of how the issue/legislation you are writing about impacts you or the community in which you live.
  • Address only one issue in each letter and try to keep the letter to one page.

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