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ESI Guidelines

Snow on beach; fences along beach.
ESI maps use shoreline rankings to rate how sensitive an area of shoreline would be to an oil spill. (NOAA)

Using Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) maps and data can help oil spill responders and planners identify vulnerable coastal locations, so that they can establish protection priorities and identify cleanup strategies before a spill happens.

The 2019 ESI Guidelines (Version 4.0) is an in-depth report that summarizes the ESI methodology and how ESI maps and data are being developed and distributed using GIS technology.

Primary objectives of the report:

  • Outline basic elements of a sensitivity mapping system.
  • Guide collection and synthesis of data.
  • Define data structure for a digital ESI application using GIS technology.

Version 4 of the Guidelines reflects modifications to the ESI data table structure, utilized in the ESI atlases published after 2014. It also includes in-depth guidance to metadata development and the Quality Assurance/Quality Control procedures to validate the topology of the ESI spatial and tabular data.

Unlike previously published Guidelines, the master species list is not included because of its dynamic nature; however, the most current species list is available online.

View or Download the Guidelines: ESI Guidelines [PDF, 27 MB]

Questions: Contact us with your questions, comments, or suggestions for the ESI Guidelines.

Last updated Monday, March 13, 2023 4:27pm PDT