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Next Generation of Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) Maps

DECEMBER 14, 2020 — OR&R completed the last of four workshop days focused on defining what the next generation of Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) maps should/could look like in a resource constrained environment. 

Each day of the workshop, over 70 representatives from numerous federal agencies including U.S. Coast Guard, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Interior (Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and NOAA), tribes (Makah Tribe, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians), states (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) participated.  All agreed that ESI maps remain an integral part of emergency response planning, preparedness, response, and assessment efforts that should be maintained.   

The workshop consisted of numerous presentations from select state, federal, and tribal partners to understand the importance of ESI maps in their planning, preparedness, and response activities, and in some cases approaches to, and constraints with regards to, updating ESI maps.  Contractors shared their experience developing ESI maps and ideas regarding innovation and updates. Workshop participants identified critical data layers, scale, necessary distribution formats, and potential areas of collaboration, as well as weighed the pros and cons of various development approaches.  Several working groups will be established in 2021 to continue the work of refining necessary data layers, data structure, and format for the next generation of ESI maps.

For additional information, contact the ESI program manager, Nicolle.R.Rutherford@noaa.gov.

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Last updated Sunday, December 20, 2020 6:41pm PST