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Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) Maps Workshop

NOVEMBER 16, 2020 — OR&R completed the second of four workshop days focused on helping to define what the next generation of Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) maps should/could look like in a resource constrained environment. 

Over 70 representatives from numerous federal (USCG, EPA, DOI, USFWS, BSEE, USGS, NOAA), Tribal (Makah Tribe, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians), State (CA, TX, FL, ME, RI, OH, MI, Great Lakes Commission, AK, WA, OR, others), and non-governmental organizations (Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council, Oil Spill Recovery Institute, others) have participated thus far.  All agree that ESI maps are an integral part of emergency response planning, preparedness, response, and assessment efforts that should be maintained.   

Day one of the workshop consisted of presentations from select state partners to understand their approaches to, and constraints with regards to, updating ESI maps, while afternoon breakout groups worked to identify critical data layers, scale, and necessary distribution formats.  Day two consisted of presentations by Federal and Tribal partners speaking to the importance of ESI maps in their planning, preparedness, and response activities.  A panel discussion in the afternoon focused on further refining essential layers, identifying potential areas of collaboration, and problem solving.

Two additional workshop days remain.  On Wednesday, November 18, various contractors will present their experience with ESIs.  On December 2, workshop participants will take the information that has been shared and use it to develop a vision of what the next generation of ESI maps might look like.

For additional information, contact Nicolle Rutherford, ESI program manager, at

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Last updated Friday, November 20, 2020 2:01pm PST