ShoreZone Response Tool
Moran Environmental Recovery (MER) recently developed a Shoreline Response Tool (SRT) to assist in oil spill planning and response. The imagery and other shoreline mapping data help support tactical spill planning and response for ports, where the risk is typically highest for accidental spills. The online delivery of imagery and maps is modeled after the ShoreZone mapping system that has been applied to over 60,000 miles of shoreline in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon to the Alaskan Arctic). The SRT is accessed online with a simple interface that includes very detailed aerial photography as part of the standard base map. The application can be used with your iPhone or iPad, allowing responders to access important data while in the field.
Aerial Photos and Video
While the standard base map is a very detailed, aerial photo and video of the shoreline, which are collected at low tide, show much more detail. For the Jacksonville (SRT), 25 photos per mile were collected and are georeferenced to the base map. This type of imagery provides responders with an excellent overview of shore types, facilities and issues that they will have to address during a response.
Other Supporting Information
It is possible to include other “on-the-shelf” information that will assist responders. In the case of the Jacksonville SRT, Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) shore types, Geographic Response Plans (GRP) and links to river current predictions were included.
- ESI shore types give responders a summary of the shoreline morphologies, substrates and sensitivities for the various shorelines that might be encountered during a spill.
- GRP plans show predefined response strategies. The current predictions show what type of currents will be encountered during the response and how those currents are likely to vary over a tidal cycle.
- Oil Residency Index (ORI) – Estimated persistence of spilled oil on a shoreline.
- Coastal Hazards – Estimated degree of observed flooding sensitive to sea level rise.
- Spill Response Module – Shoreline public and private access points, spill equipment locations, road and highway networks or land ownership.
- Easily ingested into NOAA’s ERMA tool.
An SRT normally requires a few weeks to become fully operational from time of initial authorization to completion. Ideally, the aerial overflights are scheduled for low tide periods so that maximum intertidal areas are captured in the imagery.