Microbial diversity is an unseen national resource that deserves greater attention. It encompasses the spectrum of variability among all types of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, viruses and many more) in the natural world and as altered by human intervention. Microbial diversity includes a vast array of organisms and suggests a spectrum of studies that are of importance for many national purposes. The following recommendations attempt to formulate critical initial efforts for several potential lead agencies. Some initiatives are within the preview of several agencies and will benefit from an inter agency approach.