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Short Citation:
Office of Response and Restoration, 2022: North Carolina 2016 ESI HABITAT Polygons, Points,

Item Identification

Title: North Carolina 2016 ESI HABITAT Polygons, Points
Short Name: North Carolina 2016 ESI HABITAT Polygons, Points
Status: Completed
Publication Date: 2016-11

This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for federally and/or state endangered and threatened plants, rare state plants, and sensitive ecological communities in North Carolina. Vector polygons (HABITAT POLYS) and points (HABITAT POINTS) in this data set represent federally and/or state endangered and threatened plant, rare state plant, and sensitive ecological community occurrences. Species-specific abundance, seasonality, status, life history, and source information are stored in associated data tables (described below) designed to be used in conjunction with this spatial data layer. This data set is a portion of the ESI data for North Carolina. As a whole, the ESI data characterize the marine and coastal environments and wildlife by their sensitivity to spilled oil, and include information for three main components: shoreline habitats, sensitive biological resources, and human-use resources.


The ESI data are intended to provide baseline environmental data for oil spill planning and response. The Clean Water Act with amendments by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 requires response plans for immediate and effective protection of sensitive resources. The ESI data may be appropriate for many other coastal management efforts, though the original intent should be kept in mind.



Other Citation Details:

Prepared by Quantum Spatial Inc., Corvallis, Oregon for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Ocean Service, Office of Response and Restoration, Emergency Response Division, Seattle, Washington.


Theme Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Science Keywords
Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Science Keywords
ISO 19115 Topic Category biota
ISO 19115 Topic Category environment
None Coastal resources
None Coastal Zone Management
None Environmental Monitoring
None ESI
None Habitat
None Oil spill planning
None Sensitivity maps

Spatial Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Location Keywords

Physical Location

Organization: Office of Response and Restoration
City: Seattle
State/Province: WA
Country: USA

Data Set Information

Data Set Scope Code: Data Set
Data Set Type: GIS Files
Maintenance Frequency: As Needed
Maintenance Note:

Data content is considered static once published. However, if issues with the Geodatabase linkages or table contents are identified, the Geodatabase and/or the associated Map Document may be updated. Assure most current data is being used by downloading from and/or comparing modification dates provided at this site.

Data Presentation Form: Map (digital)
Entity Attribute Overview:

The primary attribute tables associated with the ESI biology data are BIOFILE, SOURCES, and BREED_DT. The geographic data layer containing biological resource information (in this case, HABITAT POLYS and POINTS) is linked to the BIOFILE using the RARNUM field. There is a many-to-many relationship from the data layer to the BIOFILE, as an RARNUM may be repeated in several geographic features. Likewise, in the BIOFILE, the same RARNUM may appear in multiple records, representing a unique combination of species found in that region. To be represented by the same RARNUM, these species groups must also share the same seasonality, concentration, mapping qualifier, and source information. The items in the BIOFILE are ELEMENT, SUBELEMENT, NAME, GEN_SPEC, S, F, STATE, S_DATE, F_DATE, GRANK, GRANKDATE, MAPPING_QUALIFIER, CONC, JAN, FEB, MAR, APR, MAY, JUN, JUL, AUG, SEP, OCT, NOV, DEC, BREED1, BREED2, BREED3, BREED4, BREED5, RARNUM, G_SOURCE, S_SOURCE, and BREED. The G_SOURCE and S_SOURCE fields provide links to the SOURCES table, where object level source information is available. The BREED field is the link to the BREED_DT table, where searchable breed information is provided. The links to both of these tables are also many-to-many. During the collection of the ESI data, six relational data tables are used to store the attribute data. These are the BIORES, BREED, SEASONAL, SOURCES, SPECIES, and STATUS tables. When we create new ESI data, we populate these tables to maintain the integrity of the data collected. Once completed, all information populating these tables is collapsed into the BIOFILE to ease data queries and general usability of the final product.

Entity Attribute Detail Citation:

NOAA ESI Guidelines

Entity Attribute Detail URL:
Distribution Liability:

Although these data have been processed and used successfully on a computer system at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), no warranty, expressed or implied, is made by NOAA regarding the utility of the data on any other system, nor shall the act of distribution constitute any such warranty. NOAA warrants the delivery of this product in computer-readable format. If problems are encountered in downloading the ESI data or with file corruption, contact NOAA (see Distributor). These data represent a snapshot in time and temporal changes may have occurred. The data are not intended to include all biological or human-use resources present in an area; they focus on species and resources particularly sensitive to oiling. In the event of a spill, they should be used for a first assessment only. The data providers are the experts with regard to individual resources. They should be contacted to confirm if more current data exist or if in-depth information is needed about a particular resource.

Data Set Credit: This project was supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Ocean Service (NOS), Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R), Emergency Response Division (ERD), Seattle, Washington.

Support Roles

Data Steward

CC ID: 510936
Date Effective From: 2016-11
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): ESI Program Manager
Address: 7600 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115
Email Address:


CC ID: 510938
Date Effective From: 2016-11
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): ESI Program Manager
Address: 7600 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115
Email Address:

Metadata Contact

CC ID: 510939
Date Effective From: 2016-11
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): ESI Program Manager
Address: 7600 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115
Email Address:

Point of Contact

CC ID: 510937
Date Effective From: 2016-11
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): ESI Program Manager
Address: 7600 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115
Email Address:


Currentness Reference: Publication Date

Extent Group 1

Extent Group 1 / Geographic Area 1

CC ID: 779517
W° Bound: -78.6308
E° Bound: -75.2142
N° Bound: 36.5819
S° Bound: 33.6182

This reflects the extent of all land and water features included in the overall North Carolina ESI study region. The bounding box for this particular feature class may vary depending on occurrences identified and mapped.

Extent Group 1 / Time Frame 1

CC ID: 779518
Time Frame Type: Range
Start: 2014
End: 2016

Time Frame Range starts with ESI Project Start Year, and ends with ESI Atlas Publication Year.

Spatial Information

Spatial Representation

Representations Used

Vector: Yes
Text / Table: Yes

Vector Representation 1

CC ID: 779520
Topology Level: Geometry Only
Complex Object Present?: Yes
Complex Object Count: 1460
Point Object Present?: Yes
Point Object Count: 78

Access Information

Security Class: Unclassified
Data Access Procedure:

Data can be accessed by downloading the zipped ArcGIS geodatabase from the Download URL (see Distribution Information). Questions can be directed to the ESI Program Manager (Point Of Contact).

Data Access Constraints:


Data Use Constraints:

DO NOT USE MAPS FOR NAVIGATIONAL PURPOSES. Management boundaries are not to be considered legal boundaries. Edges may have been altered for cartographic processes. Note that the ESI database should not be used to the exclusion of other pertinent data or information held by state or federal agencies or other organizations. Likewise, information contained in the database cannot be used in place of consultations with environmental, natural resource, and cultural resource agencies, or in place of field surveys. Recognize that the information contained in the ESI database represents known concentration areas or occurrences of natural, cultural, and human-use resources, but does not necessarily represent the full distribution or range of each species or resource. This is particularly important to recognize when considering potential impacts to protected resources, such as endangered species, wetlands, etc. Besides the above warnings, there are no use constraints on these data. Acknowledgment of the originators, publishers, contributors, and sources listed would be appreciated in products derived from these data.

Distribution Information

Distribution 1

CC ID: 510943
Start Date: 2016
End Date: Present
Download URL:
Distributor: ESI Program Manager (2016-11 - Present)
File Name:

This feature class is part of the downloadable Esri Arc Geodatabase.

File Date/Time: 2016-11-21 00:00:00
File Type: Arc Geodatabase
File Size: 333 MB
Compression: Zip



CC ID: 510934
Name: ESI Overview
URL Type:
Online Resource
File Resource Format: html

Overview of ESI data content and uses.


CC ID: 779528
Name: ESI Guidelines
URL Type:
Online Resource
File Resource Format: pdf

Guidelines for developing ESI data content and overview of ESI data structure. Useful for data collectors and users requiring more in depth information on the ESI process.


CC ID: 779529
Name: ESI Browse Graphic
URL Type:
Online Resource
File Resource Format: pdf

ESI Browse Graphic depicts the relationships between the spatial data layers and the attribute data tables for the North Carolina ESI data.

Activity Log

Activity Log 1

CC ID: 510956
Activity Date/Time: 2017-04

Date that the source FGDC record was last modified.

Activity Log 2

CC ID: 510955
Activity Date/Time: 2017-04-05

Converted from Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata (version FGDC-STD-001-1998) using '' script. Contact Tyler Christensen (NOS) for details.

Activity Log 3

CC ID: 589668
Activity Date/Time: 2017-09-13

Partial upload of Spatial Info section only.

Activity Log 4

CC ID: 719250
Activity Date/Time: 2018-02-08

Partial upload of Positional Accuracy fields only.

Technical Environment


The software package used to develop the atlas is Environmental Systems Research Institute's ArcGIS for Desktop 10.2(R). The hardware configuration is PCs with Windows Operating System 7.

Data Quality


A multi-stage error checking process is used to verify both attribute accuracy and logical consistency throughout data production. The process includes a standardized data entry methodology, data review by in-house and external resource experts, a final Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) process, and multiple automated logical consistency checks. Quantitative data (such as densities, counts, abundances, or concentrations) provided by resource experts for inclusion in the data set may vary widely in attribute accuracy, depending upon the methodology used to collect and compile such data. For a more detailed evaluation of source data attribute accuracy, contact the sources listed in the Lineage section.

Horizontal Positional Accuracy:

Spatial components for the biological data layers can come from expert interviews, hardcopy, or digital sources. Some of the spatial components of the biological data layers may have been developed using regional experts who estimate concentration areas. It is difficult to estimate the positional accuracy of such data, except to state that they are compiled on digital base maps with a scale of 1:24,000 or larger. Some of the spatial components of the biological data sets are developed from pre-existing digital or hardcopy sources and reflect the positional accuracy of these original data. Note that biological resource data by their very nature are considered "fuzzy", and this should be understood when considering the positional accuracy of vector digital objects representing these resources. See the Lineage and Process_Description sections for more information on the original source data and how these data were integrated or manipulated to create the final data set.

Completeness Report:

These data represent a synthesis of digital data and expert knowledge on federally and/or state endangered and threatened plant species, rare state plant species, and sensitive ecological community occurrences. These data do not necessarily represent all habitat occurrences in North Carolina. The following species are included in this data set: (Species_ID, Common Name, Scientific Name or n/a if not applicable): 9, Viviparous spikerush, Eleocharis vivipara; 42, Woolly beachheather, Hudsonia tomentosa; 43, Reticulated nutrush, Scleria reticularis; 59, Endangered plant, n/a; 79, Rare upland community, n/a; 80, Rare wetland community, n/a; 111, Seashore paspalum, Paspalum vaginatum; 144, Carolina grasswort, Lilaeopsis carolinensis; 145, Seabeach amaranth, Amaranthus pumilus; 187, Seaside knotweed, Polygonum glaucum; 190, Virginia jointvetch, Aeschynomene virginica; 203, Low nutrush, Scleria verticillata; 206, Saltmarsh spikerush, Eleocharis halophila; 208, Godfrey's sandwort, Minuartia godfreyi; 223, Tiny leaved buckthorn, Sageretia minutiflora; 248, Spoon-flower, Peltandra sagittifolia; 270, Coastal dropseed, Sporobolus virginicus; 286, Shoreline seapurslane, Sesuvium portulacastrum; 309, Beach morning glory, Ipomoea pescaprea; 610, Dixie sandmat, Chamaesyce bombensis; 627, Long's bittercress, Cardamine longii; 663, Beaked spikerush, Eleocharis rostellata; 707, Bearded sprangletop, Leptochloa fusca ssp. fascicularis; 714, Welsh mudwort, Limosella australis; 740, Slender seapurslane, Sesuvium maritimum; 778, Mudbank crowngrass, Paspalum dissectum; 834, Ribbed mock bishopweed, Ptilimnium costatum; 838, Coastal beaksedge, Rhynchospora pleiantha; 839, Tracy's beaksedge, Rhynchospora tracyi; 936, Carolina bishopweed, Ptilimnium ahlesii; 937, Dune bluecurls, Trichostema species 1; 938, Fragrant beaksedge, Rhynchospora odorata; 940, Cypress panicgrass, Dichanthelium dichotomum var. dichotomum; 941, Moundlily yucca, Yucca gloriosa; 942, Virginia pinweed, Lechea maritima var. virginica; 943, Sand spikerush, Eleocharis montevidensis; 944, Spreading sandwort, Arenaria lanuginosa var. lanuginosa; 945, Winged primrose-willow, Ludwigia alata; 946, Gulf Coast spikerush, Eleocharis cellulosa; 947, Florida adder's-mouth orchid, Malaxis spicata; 948, Fourangle flatsedge, Cyperus tetragonus; 949, Georgia frostweed, Helianthemum georgianum; 950, Clustered pellitory, Parietaria praetermissa; 951, Nerved witchgrass, Dichanthelium aciculare var. aciculare; 1206, Blue waterhyssop, Bacopa caroliniana; 1207, Pine barren frostweed, Helianthemum corymbosum; 1208, Florida scrub frostweed, Helianthemum nashii; 1209, Le Conte's flatsedge, Cyperus lecontei; 1210, Slim spikerush, Eleocharis elongata; 1211, Virginia wildrye, Elymus virginicus var. halophilus; 1212, Redcardinal, Erythrina herbacea; 1213, Confederate huckleberry, Gaylussacia nana; 1214, Small's bogbutton, Lachnocaulon minus; 1215, Lanceleaf primrose-willow, Ludwigia lanceolata; 1217, Narrowleaf evening primrose, Oenothera fruticosa; 1218, Basketgrass, Oplismenus hirtellus ssp. setarius; 1219, Ivy buttercup, Ranunculus hederaceus; 1220, Southern beaksedge, Rhynchospora microcarpa; 1221, Globe beaksedge, Rhynchospora globularis var. pinetorum; 1222, Cabbage palmetto, Sabal palmetto; 1223, Chapman's arrowhead, Sagittaria graminea var. chapmanii; 1224, Weatherby's arrowhead, Sagittaria graminea var. weatherbiana; 1225, Tough bully, Sideroxylon tenax; 1226, Glowing nightshade, Solanum pseudogracile; 1227, Hairy-seed goldenrod, Solidago villosicarpa; 1228, Chapman's tridens, Tridens flavus var. chapmanii.

Conceptual Consistency:

A multi-stage error checking process, described in the above Attribute Accuracy Report, is used to verify both attribute accuracy and logical consistency throughout data production. This process includes multiple automated logical consistency checks that test the files for missing or duplicate data, rules for proper coding, GIS topological consistencies, and SQL SERVER(R) to ArcGIS(R) consistencies. A final review is made by the GIS manager, before the final Geodatabase and metadata are created. After the data are delivered to NOAA, they are again subjected to several consistency checks, and processed into the final delivery format.




CC ID: 779555
Publish Date: 2016-04-08
Extent Type: Discrete
Extent Start Date/Time: 2016
Source Contribution:


Process Steps

Process Step 1

CC ID: 510932

Threatened, endangered, and rare plants and rare plant communities were mapped primarily with data from NCNHP and were given the mapping qualifier of "Vulnerable Occurrence". Critically imperiled, imperiled, and vulnerable wetland and upland plant community types were generalized as "Rare Upland Community" or "Rare Wetland Community". Wetland habitats with a high degree (greater than 60%) of overlap with the ESI wetland polygons were not included to reduce redundancy in the atlas. Plant and natural community records mapped with low or very low accuracy, as well as historical and obscure records, were also excluded. The only exception to this was that all seabeach amaranth and Virginia jointvetch (both species are state/federally threatened) were mapped regardless of location accuracy or historical status. These annual species have seedbanks and could become reestablished in historical areas under certain environmental conditions. The concentration field indicates whether the location is "Current" or "Historical". Plants with data sensitivities were masked as "Endangered Plant" and locations were buffered. Small, isolated plant polygons (less than 500 m2) were converted to points (HABITAT POINTS) so that they would be more visible in the atlas. All plant and natural community features were clipped to land except for aquatic plants blue waterhyssop and Carolina grasswort. Shoreline seapurslane, narrowleaf evening-primrose, and seabeach amaranth distributions that closely followed the shoreline were modified to correspond with the ESI shoreline. See the Lineage section for additional information on the type of source data for this data layer. The ESI, biology, and human-use data are compiled into the standard ESI digital data format. A second set of interviews with participating resource experts are conducted to review the compiled data. If necessary, edits to the HABITAT POLYS and HABITAT POINTS data layers are made based on the recommendations of the resource experts and digital data are created.

Process Date/Time: 2016-11-01 00:00:00
Process Contact: ESI Program Manager
Email Address:

Child Items

Rubric scores updated every 15m

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Catalog Details

Catalog Item ID: 40428
GUID: gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:40428
Metadata Record Created By: Tyler Christensen
Metadata Record Created: 2017-04-05 14:51+0000
Metadata Record Last Modified By: SysAdmin InPortAdmin
Metadata Record Last Modified: 2021-11-30 16:28+0000
Metadata Record Published: 2018-11-13
Owner Org: ORR
Metadata Publication Status: Published Externally
Do Not Publish?: N
Metadata Review Frequency: 1 Year