Social Indicator Supporting Information
Below is some important information about the social indicators data, including map data specifications and caveats about the indicators themselves.
For a general description of the methodology see the below NOAA Technical Memorandum.
Jepson, M. and L.L. Colburn. 2013. Development of Social Indicators of Fishing Community Vulnerability and Resilience in the U.S. Southeast and Northeast Regions. U.S. Dept. of Commerce., NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-F/SPO-129, 64 p.
Note: The variables used to calculate two indices have been modified. The crime index variable was removed from the personal disruption index and pounds landed per capita has replaced percent in agriculture, forestry and fishing variable in the commercial fishing reliance index.
- Area of Coverage: Communities in coastal counties in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii
- Format: Excel and CSV
Units: Data were primarily collected at the Census Designated Place (CDP) level. In the Northeast, some community data were collected at the Minor Civil Division (MCD) level and, in Hawaii, at the Census County Division (CCD) level.
Data Sources: NOAA Fisheries, U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS), Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon State Marine Board, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and Hawai’i Division of Aquatic Resources.
The social indicators were developed with multiple sources of data. The social and gentrification pressure vulnerability indices were calculated with U.S. Census American Community Survey (ACS) five year rolling average estimate data from 2005-2009 to 2016-2020. The commercial fisheries indicators were developed using NOAA Fisheries landings data from 2009 to 2020. The recreational fisheries indicators were developed from 2009 to 2020 with NOAA fisheries and/or state data unique to each region. The social and gentrification pressure vulnerability indices data series were paired with commercial and recreational fisheries indicators from the final year in each data series. For example, the 2005 to 2009 social indicator data series are paired with 2009 fisheries indicators. The sea level rise risk indicator was initially developed in 2015 and updated in 2020 for all coastal states except Alaska due to the unavailability of data. The updated sea level rise risk indicator was paired with 2016-2020 social indicator data series and 2020 fisheries data. The storm surge risk indicator was developed in 2015 for Gulf Coast and Eastern U.S. communities due to hurricane risk. Storm surge risk indicator was introduced in 2015 and paired with 2011 to 2015 social indicator data series and 2015 fisheries data. Both sea level rise risk and storm surge risk indicators will be repeated annually until updated.
Recreational engagement and reliance indices
Recreational indices are available for the Northeast, Southeast, West Coast, Alaska, and Pacific Island regions. NOAA's Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) data was used for the creation of the recreational engagement and reliance indices for most Northeast and Southeast states. Texas, and more recently Louisiana, do not participate in the MRIP data collection effort. Recreational indices for those states were developed using NOAA recreational permits data and boat ramp data. The West Coast indices were created using data from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon State Marine Board, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, and Data Axel. The Alaska indices were developed using data from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game on individual sportfishing licenses held by residents, sportfishing licenses sold to Alaska residents, sportfishing licenses sold in the community, sportfishing guide businesses located within the community, and the number of sportfishing guides in the community. The Pacific Island indices were developed using both data from Hawai’i Division of Aquatic Resources (HDAR) Fisher Reporting System and MRIP data that was collected for Hawaii only.
The Indices for all states were developed using the same methodology (although variables for the states noted above differed) and are categorized on the same four item scale. Given the difference in data, it should be noted that the rankings for Texas, Louisiana, Alaska, and Hawaii are relative to each state. The West Coast states (California, Oregon, and Washington) are relative to that region and are not part of a larger overview of recreational fishing engagement and reliance.
Sea level rise risk index
Land area at elevations from one to six feet above mean higher high water within community boundaries were calculated using coastal elevation data developed by the NOAA High-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs; 5 to 10-meter horizontal resolution) from the National Elevation Dataset for coastal areas of the U.S., adjusting them for variations in local tide levels. We chose a 'bathtub' approach that estimates the inland spread of water as sea level rises by comparing elevation values of the eight neighboring cells to the value of a particular cell in a DEM raster. The area of potential sea level rise impacts in communities was computed by overlapping the remaining land areas of municipality shape files with NOAA sea level rise shapefiles from one to six feet elevation except for Alaska due to lack of available data. Note: See the Office of Coastal Management's Digital Coast for more information.
Storm surge risk index
Storm surge inundation data was collected from the Sea Lake and Overland Surges from Hurricanes (SLOSH) display program for all coastal areas from Maine to Texas. Storm surge values were interpolated using ArcGIS to create a raster area representing the water surface elevation for each hurricane category. The area of potential storm surge impacts in communities was computed by subtracting the land elevation (DEMs) data from the National Elevation Dataset from the hurricane storm surge interpolated rasters for hurricane categories 1 to 4 in the Northeast region and 1 to 5 in the Southeast region.
The indicators are factor scores that are normalized such that 0 is the mean. We chose to categorize them by standard deviation to offer a more intuitive view of their ranking.
|High||At or above 1 standard deviation|
|Medium High||.50 to .99 standard deviation|
|Medium||0 to .49 standard deviation|
|Low||Below 0 standard deviation|
|Not available||Insufficient data|
NOAA Fisheries Office of Science and Technology. 2020. NOAA Fisheries Community Social Vulnerability Indicators (CSVIs). Version 4 (Last updated: September 20, 2023).