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Tillamook County Courthouse.

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The Tillamook Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously December 16, 2020 to pass a resolution in support of the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI). DOGAMI is slated to be eliminated in Governor Brown’s proposed 2021-2023 budget.

DOGAMI is instrumental in earthquake and tsunami preparedness efforts on the Oregon coast. The agency provides Oregon coastal communities science-based leadership, educational outreach, scientific data, and best practices to foster an informed culture of preparedness.

“Living in the shadow of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, it is essential that we prepare for an earthquake and tsunami,” said Tillamook County Commissioner Mary Faith Bell. “DOGAMI is an extraordinary partner in disaster preparedness. They attend our meetings, consult with our volunteer groups, and walk our beach communities to map evacuation routes. It is remarkable for small, rural communities to have access to cutting-edge science that could literally save lives. We can’t imagine doing this work without DOGAMI,” said Bell.

DOGAMI utilizes LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to provide three-dimensional images of the surface of the earth. LiDAR data of the Oregon coast provides highly detailed inundation and storm surge mapping, hydrodynamic modeling, shoreline mapping, landslide mapping, and coastal vulnerability analysis. LiDAR data is used by DOGAMI to develop tsunami inundation maps of coastal communities, evacuation planning and signage.

The commissioners have asked Senator Betsy Johnson and Representative David Gomberg of the Oregon Coastal Caucus to fight for DOGAMI’s survival in Ways and Means Committee budget deliberations.

“This is really important to our survival here on the coast,” said Tillamook County Commissioner Bill Baertlein. “I was in a meeting with the Coastal Caucus yesterday and we let the Governor’s Office know what we thought about cutting DOGAMI in no uncertain terms. We are asking the Governor’s Office to continue to commit to resilience of coastal counties and keep DOGAMI whole.”

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