Map of the Month: Environmental Sensitivity in the Great Lakes
The Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA®) is NOAA’s online mapping tool that integrates both static and real-time data, enabling users to quickly and securely access, analyze, and display spatial data. The "Map of the Month" series highlights unique maps from throughout ERMA's use and history. This month we're highlighting the NOAA Environmental Sensitivity Index Maps for St. Marys River and St. Lawrence River in the Great Lakes.
OR&R’s Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) program released two new atlases of ESI data and maps for two critical links in the Great Lakes region: St. Marys River and the St. Lawrence River. These rivers are high-risk corridors for an oil or chemical spill due to transport by rail, pipeline, and commercial shipping, and they contain diverse and sensitive habitats. The previous ESI atlases for the St. Marys and St. Lawrence rivers were published in 1986 and 1985, and did not provide responders with the up-to-date data critical for spill response.
ESI data are available as GIS data, PDF maps, and online interactively in the Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA®). The map below is a portion of the 52 new maps created showing the biologically-important areas and another corresponding 52 new maps showing the human use features relevant to oil and chemical spills. This update is fully incorporated into the digital analysis & query tools in ERMA.