Development of an Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) for the Great Lakes
Project Number: R/PS-003, Completion Report
Start Date: 9/1/1983
Completion Date: 12/31/1984
Revision Date: 7/30/2010
|Principal Investigator(s)||1.||Charles Herdendorf, *|
|Co-Principal Investigator(s)||2.||Laura Faye, *|
|This shows the current affiliation and may not match affiliation at time of participation. *|
- Literature Search
- Ecological aspects
- Physical characteristics
- Oil spill response data
- Field Investigations
- Aerial reconnaissance of entire coastal zone
- Beach profiles and grain-size analysis
- Interviews with knowledgeable citizens and technical experts.
Graphic displays of the environmentally sensitive areas along the U.S. portion of the shoreline from Port Huron, Michigan to Buffalo, New York will be prepared utilizing topographic base maps.
Benefits & Accomplishments
1984: The intended and attained achievement of this project was to prepare maps according to the standard environmental sensitivity maps (ESI). These maps will be utilized by NOAA and the Coast Guard for planning and clean up during toxic and or oil spills which occur within the Lake Erie system (St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, Detroit River, Lake Erie, and the Niagara River).
1984: These maps include geological, biological, and cultural aspects of the shoreline to help the Coast Guard in prioritizing areas for clean up. The EPA in the individual states have also expressed an interest in acquiring these maps to facilitate their building and dredging permitting operation.
1984: The environmental sensitivity of the Lake Erie shoreline was mapped on USGS topographic maps by color coding the following coastal types, grading from least sensitive to most fragile:
- Exposed bedrock headlands
- Exposed glacial till bluffs
- Exposed compact lacustrine (primarily fine sand to gravel) bluffs - subject to high erosion
- Pocket beaches on exposed bedrock and glacial till shores
- Fine sand beaches (including sand dunes) 6. Course sand and gravel beaches
- Riprap and harbor structures (i.e., seawalls, breakwaters, groins, and jetties)
- Sheltered bedrock, glacial till or lacustrine bluffs
- Low lacustrine (primarily silt and clay) banks - subject to high erosion and flooding.
- Marshes and wetlands
- Sheltered (including diked marshes)
These maps were published by the NOAA, Hazardous Materials Response Branch and are currently in use by all U.S. Coast Guard stations in the study area. The Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) has pr]Yen to be a successful pilot program for the other Great Lakes, by providing a useful support tool for NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard in cases of oil, salt, or other toxic substance spills.
Publications & Media
|Herdendorf, C. and L. Fay. 1988, Development of an environmental sensitivity index for coastal areas of Lake Erie, North America|
Verh. Internat. Verein. Limnol. 23:380-385, Stuttgart, January 1988. Made available by Ohio Sea Grant as OHSU-RS-093.
|Herdendorf, C.E. 1990, Great Lakes estuaries|
Estuaries 13(4), 398-424. Made available by Ohio Sea Grant Ohio Sea Grant as OHSU-RS-368.
|Deprecated: Books, monographs, book chapters|
|Sexton, W.J., T.G. Ballou, L.A. Fay and C.E. Herdendorf. 1986, Sensitivity of coastal environments and wildlife to spilled oil, Lake Erie System, an atlas of coastal resources|
Made available by Office of Oceanography and Marine Assessment, Made available by Ohio Sea Grant as OHSU-BS-002.