Shoreline Types of the Central Texas Coast: Matagorda to Corpus Christi Areas

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The report details how the Bureau of Economic Geology (BEG) classified and mapped the shores of the central Texas coast, offering definitions of each shoreline type and providing examples that demonstrate how the physical attributes of shoreline habitats influence the impact of spilled oil. This information is crucial for the creation of Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) maps used in oil spill response and contingency planning. Shorelines were classified according to an ESI scheme established by Research Planning, Inc. (RPI) and the BEG, with rankings ranging from 1 to 10. Examples of each shoreline type are provided, along with explanations of common occurrences of multiple adjacent shoreline types. Mapping of shoreline types was conducted on U.S.G.S. topographic quadrangles (1:24,000) using recent vertical aerial photographs, low-altitude color video surveys from 1997, oblique color slides from 1992, and previous field experience. Ground spot checks were performed in May 1998 to verify the accuracy of the maps. The Matagorda to Corpus Christi region was chosen for the second phase of ESI mapping in Texas due to its diverse shoreline types, dense industrialization, environmentally sensitive wetlands, and significant volume of oil transportation through major shipping channels and the Intracoastal Waterway in the region.


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