Coastal Data: Collection, Mapping, Analysis, and Evaluation

Principal Investigator
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Providing science-based resources to help communities and decision-makers to prioritize coastal resource protection and management.

Data collection and mapping will be used to update the Resource Management Codes and provide data for coastal resource management planning at the request of the Texas General Land Office (GLO). An updated and enhanced evaluation will be carried out to identify areas with issues of concern and potential project solutions to address those issues through development of a Texas Coastal Resiliency Plan (Plan). The Plan will help provide technical information for communities and decision-makers to prioritize coastal resource protection and management.

Task 1: Resource Management Code Year 1 Update

A Data Standards Committee (DSC) composed of state agencies and key partners involved in coastal management was established to advise on and assist with the discovery, compilation, documentation, and evaluation of existing geospatial and related data sets required for updating the Resource Management Codes (RMC) and enhancing long-term coastal management. The RMCs were updated and a GIS platform for accessing them was developed under the Year 2 work plan.

As part of this process, the need for yearly updates was identified by the DSC to keep the RMC tool current by incorporating the most recent underlying datasets. Under his task, the DSC would be reconvened, and HRI will facilitate the process. This will include adding and updating datasets identified over the last year by the DSC and incorporating recommended enhancements to the tool and lessons learned from Year 2 work. HRI will facilitate the DSC meetings and help plan and develop meeting materials. HRI will also be responsible for capturing data at the DSC meetings, updating the data catalog, and providing viewer enhancements. HRI will aid in the development of new data layers for the RMCs and make recommendations and assist with viewer enhancements.

Task 2: Data Inventory for Coastal Resources Planning and Management

This task includes the ongoing discovery, compilation, evaluation, and stewardship of existing geospatial and related natural resources data obtained through updating the RMCs and planning
framework development. Results from workshops and the efforts of the DSC will provide input into this effort. This activity will build upon the procedures and products already created by HRI and will coordinate with ongoing efforts of Gulf-wide data compilation led by HRI. As the data are discovered, HRI will verify its integrity and make a preliminary assessment of its usefulness for the RMC update and ongoing planning initiative. Once a dataset is deemed relevant, metadata will be created and verified by HRI using industry standard tools and provided in an online and searchable metadata catalog. Once metadata have been created and verified, the dataset will be made accessible through a geoportal that HRI currently maintains.

Task 3: Assessment of Areas and Issues of Concern, and Project Prioritization

Building off work done in Year 2, geospatial data will be compiled to conduct a spatial gap analysis on the issues of concern with proposed project locations to identify areas with concerns still needing to be addressed and/or areas with completed projects. These situations will be considered in the gap analysis. Once a list of proposed projects is identified for review by a reconvened Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), HRI will work with the GLO to prepare information and evaluation packages for each project, including location and characteristics of the biophysical setting and a brief analysis of the project’s socio-economic benefits and/or impacts. Concurrently, HRI will assist with modifying and enhancing the evaluation methodology and criteria used during the last TAC review for project assessment and identify issues of concern. HRI will assist with the TAC meeting preparations and capture data from the meetings.

With results from the TAC meetings, HRI will conduct a statistical and spatial analysis and will identify the top-ranking projects. For projects in the top tier, a more in depth socio-economic analysis will be conducted, which will include a description of the ecosystem services enhanced or restored by the project, as well as the identification of the social and economic impacts to local communities. HRI will provide GIS maps of prioritized project locations for input into GLO’s GIS viewer.