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Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) Maps

Region(s) of Study: U.S. States and Territories

Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) maps provide a concise summary of at risk coastal resources if an oil spill, or other technological disaster, occurs. Examples of at-risk resources include biological resources (e.g., shellfish beds), sensitive shorelines (such as marshes and tidal flats), and in-water aquaculture assets.

 Aquaculture application: Shellfish operators can utilize ESI maps to determine vulnerable locations to technological disasters, such as oil spills, and plan accordingly if a spill were to occur. Proper protective spill equipment (e.g., booms) and actions can be implemented, reducing the environmental consequences of the spill and the cleanup efforts.

Contributing Partners: NOAA NOS Office of Restoration & Response

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NCCOS delivers ecosystem science solutions for stewardship of the nation’s ocean and coastal resources to sustain thriving coastal communities and economies.

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