Texas ESI Mapping, Updating Priority Protection Areas, and Leveraging UASs

Principal Investigator

This project, led by HRI’s Geospatial Sciences group in support of the Texas General Land Office (TGLO), is designed to enhance TGLO’s oil spill planning and response capabilities. The work completed in this project will provide an update to the Texas Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) dataset for shoreline and wetlands, to use these data to develop criteria for updating the Texas Priority Protection Areas, and to use a UAV system for spill response and preparedness benefits not only TGLO’s capabilities to protect sensitive natural resources but would inform the entire oil spill planning and response community. HRI and Research Planning, Inc. (RPI) intend to support GLO through continuing to conduct research and developing products related to data development, data collection, and decision support.

This project will deliver the following:

  1. Identify, collect, and compile data to update the ESI wetlands, following the NOAA ESI data schema, for the outer coast of Texas for integration into the ESI data product.
  2. Leveraging the completed biological resources data and using the new ESI wetlands data to develop criteria for and an update to the Priority Protection Area data set for the outer coast of Texas.
  3. Working closely with TGLO’s UAS personnel, we will research methods for data collection and sharing for rapid shoreline assessments utilizing UAS.
  4. Update shoreline position and ESI shoreline type classification of the shoreline from the Matagorda Bay area to the US/Mexico border for integration with the ESI data product.