"Each year, Federal agencies invest billions of dollars in civil Earth observations. Through these investments, the U.S. government ensures that the Nation's decision makers, businesses, first-responders, farmers, and a wide array of other stakeholders have the information they need about climate and weather, disaster events, land-use change, ecosystem health, natural resources, and many other characteristics of the planet. Taken together, Earth observations provide the indispensable foundation for meeting the Federal Government's long-term sustainability objectives and advancing U.S. social, environmental, and economic well-being. As the Nation's Earth-observation capacity has grown, however, so has the complexity of this endeavor. Today, U.S. Earth-observation efforts are distributed among more than 100 programs under the purview of Federal agencies and non-Federal entities that both produce and use these data. The National Strategy for Civil Earth Observations, developed in response to congressional direction, is designed to maximize interagency coordination, increase efficiency and efficacy of future Earth-observation efforts, and promote environmental and economic sustainability."
White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov/s