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Short Citation:
Office of Response and Restoration, 2023: South Carolina 2015 ESI HABITAT Polygons,

Item Identification

Title: South Carolina 2015 ESI HABITAT Polygons
Status: Completed
Publication Date: 2015-08

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


The ESI data were collected, mapped, and digitized to provide 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.



Other Citation Details:

Prepared by Research Planning, Inc., Columbia, South Carolina 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
Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Science Keywords
ISO 19115 Topic Category
ISO 19115 Topic Category
None Coastal resources
None Coastal Zone Management
None Environmental Monitoring
None ESI
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, HABITATS) 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, 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, and will offer a replacement copy of the product when the product is determined unreadable by computer input peripherals, or when the physical medium is delivered in damaged condition.

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: 824739
Date Effective From: 2015-08
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): ESI Program Manager
Address: 7600 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115
Email Address:


CC ID: 824741
Date Effective From: 2015-08
Date Effective To:
Contact (Organization): Office of Response and Restoration (ORR)
Address: 1305 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
URL: ORR Home Page

Metadata Contact

CC ID: 824742
Date Effective From: 2015-08
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): ESI Program Manager
Address: 7600 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115
Email Address:

Point of Contact

CC ID: 824740
Date Effective From: 2015-08
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: 824992
W° Bound: -81.1615
E° Bound: -78.414
N° Bound: 33.9384
S° Bound: 31.9322

This reflects the extent of all land and water features included in the overall South 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: 824993
Time Frame Type: Range
Start: 2014
End: 2015

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: 824752
Topology Level: Geometry Only
Complex Object Present?: Yes
Complex Object Count: 153

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: 825062
Start Date: 2015
End Date: Present
Download URL:
Distributor: Office of Response and Restoration (ORR) (2015-08 - Present)
File Name:

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

File Date/Time: 2016-09-12 00:00:00
File Type (Deprecated): Arc Geodatabase
Distribution Format: ESRI File Geodatabase
File Size: 256 MB
Compression: Zip



CC ID: 824743
Name: ESI Overview
URL Type:
Online Resource
File Resource Format: html

Overview of ESI data content and uses.


CC ID: 825059
Name: ESI Browse Graphic
URL Type:
Browse Graphic
File Resource Format: pdf

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


CC ID: 825060
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.

Activity Log

Activity Log 1

CC ID: 824745
Activity Date/Time: 2015-08

Date that the source FGDC record was last modified.

Activity Log 2

CC ID: 824744
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: 824746
Activity Date/Time: 2017-09-13

Partial upload of Spatial Info section only.

Activity Log 4

CC ID: 824747
Activity Date/Time: 2017-11-01

Replaced entire Lineage section to populate new Source Contribution field.

Activity Log 5

CC ID: 824748
Activity Date/Time: 2018-02-08

Partial upload of Positional Accuracy fields only.

Technical Environment


The software packages used to develop the atlas are Environmental Systems Research Institute's ArcGIS for Desktop 10.2(R) and SQL SERVER(R) (version 2005). The hardware configuration is PC's 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 hardcopy base maps with a scale of 1:24,000. 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 expert knowledge, available hardcopy documents, survey data, maps, and digital data on federally endangered and threatened plant, rare state plant, and sensitive ecological community distributions. These data do not necessarily represent all habitat occurrences in South Carolina. The following species are included in this data set: (Species_ID, Common Name, Scientific Name [n/a if not applicable]): 7, Rough boneset, Eupatorium pilosum; 9, Viviparous spikerush, Eleocharis vivipara; 48, Shell middens, n/a; 78, Northern long sedge, Carex folliculata; 144, Carolina grasswort, Lilaeopsis carolinensis; 145, Seabeach amaranth, Amaranthus pumilus; 222, Florida privet, Forestiera segregata; 248, Spoon-flower, Peltandra sagittifolia; 398, Blackstem spleenwort, Asplenium resiliens; 411, Godfrey's swampprivet, Forestiera godfreyi; 412, Harper's fimbry, Fimbristylis perpusilla; 413, Leafless swallow-wort, Orthosia scoparia; 456, Needle palm, Rhapidophyllum hystrix; 518, Nutmeg hickory, Carya myristiciformis; 519, Plymouth rose gentian, Sabatia kennedyana; 520, Rattlesnakemaster, Eryngium aquaticum var. ravenelii; 601, Smooth hedgenettle, Stachys tenuifolia; 603, Willdenow's sedge, Carex basiantha; 729, Robbins' spikerush, Eleocharis robbinsii; 743, Shoreline sedge, Carex hyalinolepis; 791, Incised agrimony, Agrimonia incisa; 796, Manyflower grasspink, Calopogon multiflorus; 797, Bandanna of the Everglades, Canna flaccida; 813, Sarvis holly, Ilex amelanchier; 822, Climbing fetterbush, Pieris phillyreifolia; 831, Hairy shadow witch, Ponthieva racemosa; 846, Largeroot morning-glory, Ipomoea macrorhiza; 948, Fourangle flatsedge, Cyperus tetragonus; 949, Georgia frostweed, Helianthemum georgianum.

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: 824753
Publish Date: 2014-01-01
Extent Type: Range
Extent Start Date/Time: 1984
Extent End Date/Time: 2014
Source Contribution:

HABITATS INFORMATION | Source Geospatial Form: vector digital data | Type of Source Media: EMAIL

Process Steps

Process Step 1

CC ID: 824754

SCDNR provided records from SCDNR's Rare, Threatened, & Endangered Species (RTES) GIS data and herbarium records from the University of South Carolina (USC) and Clemson University. Plant species included from this data were selected by resource experts and are listed in the atlas' species list. The only federally protected species to occur within the project area is seabeach amaranth (federally threatened). In addition, shell midden occurrences in the RTES GIS data have been mapped because of the variety of rare trees, shrubs, and herbs associated with the high-calcium soils of these habitats. To mask the exact location of herbarium records, an arbitrary geographic shift was applied within 25 m of the original location. Shifted points were buffered with a 50 m radial buffer to create a polygon. Any overlapping polygons for a single species were dissolved into a single occurrence. Additional shell midden locations may be known by the South Carolina State Historic Preservation Office (SC SHPO), but could not be mapped due to the likely archaeological significance and sensitivity of these sites. The display of this data does not imply that areas reflect current plant locations, but rather are to be used as a guide to what has been observed historically and in recent years (mainly 1983-2014).

Process Date/Time: 2015-08-01 00:00:00
Process Contact: ESI Program Manager
Email Address:

Process Step 2

CC ID: 825061

The above digital and/or hardcopy sources were compiled by the project biologist to create the HABITATS data layer. Depending on the type of source data, three general approaches are used for compiling the data layer: 1) information gathered during initial interviews and from hardcopy sources are compiled onto U.S. Geological Survey 1:24,000 topographic quadrangles and digitized; 2) hardcopy maps are digitized at their source scale; 3) digital data layers are evaluated and used "as is" or integrated with the hardcopy data sources. 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 HABITATS data layer are made based on the recommendations of the resource experts, and final hardcopy maps and digital data are created.

Process Date/Time: 2015-08-01 00:00:00
Process Contact: ESI Program Manager
Email Address:

Child Items

Rubric scores updated every 15m

Rubric Score Type Title

Catalog Details

Catalog Item ID: 55613
GUID: gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:55613
Metadata Record Created By: David Moe Nelson
Metadata Record Created: 2019-02-25 14:23+0000
Metadata Record Last Modified By: SysAdmin InPortAdmin
Metadata Record Last Modified: 2023-10-17 16:12+0000
Metadata Record Published: 2019-02-26
Owner Org: ORR
Metadata Publication Status: Published Externally
Do Not Publish?: N
Metadata Last Review Date: 2019-02-26
Metadata Review Frequency: 1 Year
Metadata Next Review Date: 2020-02-26