Improving Texas ESI Maps and Map Production Tools for Oil Spill Response

Principal Investigator

The Texas General Land Office (TGLO) is the lead agency for coastal and marine oil spill prevention and response. The Harte Research Institute (HRI) and Research Planning, Inc. (RPI) are well positioned to support TGLO’s Oil Spill Prevention and Response activities. HRI has mapped and compiled information on coastal environments for use in oil spill planning and coastal management and produced the currently used ESI shoreline type mapping for Texas. RPI has spent over 40 years providing sensitive biological resources information in the way of products and reports to local communities and state and federal agencies for oil spill planning and response, and coastal management.

The proposed products and tools are designed to enhance TGLO’s oil spill planning and response capabilities. The update to the Texas Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) dataset and ArcGIS Add-in would benefit not only TGLO’s capabilities to protect sensitive natural resources but would inform the entire oil spill planning and response community. HRI and RPI intend to support TGLO through continuing to conduct research and developing products related to data development, collection, and decision support. Following are the topics and deliverables addressed in this proposal:

1. Build upon the successfully completed Texas ESI mapping effort to update the remainder of the ESI layers for the outer coast of Texas.

2. Produce a set of hardcopy and softcopy ESI maps for the outer coast of Texas with the updated ESI data. The ESI maps will be produced using RPI’s ESI Mapping Tool.

3. Research and develop protocols to advance the ESI map production tool to improve reporting for emergency response using the updated ESI data.

4. Update shoreline position and ESI shoreline type classification of the shoreline from the Colorado River to the Louisiana border for integration with the ESI data product.