A strategic planning approach for protecting environmentally sensitive coastlines from oil spills: Allocating response resources on a limited budget

Anthony Grubesic, Jake R. Nelson, Ran Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Oil exploration and production in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) reached an all-time high in 2017 and projections for 2018 and 2019 suggest that production will continue to increase. As extraction activities continue their movement to deep and ultra-deep water environments, operational complexities that increase the risks associated with uncontrolled release events remain omnipresent. In addition to oil spills posing a critical threat to sensitive coastal environments, the geographic and economic implications of spill response need consideration. Specifically, given limited budgets, human resources and equipment, regional stakeholders must identify locations that improve the strategic value for siting spill mitigation resources. Not only can this help to improve the efficiency of spill response, an improved combination of equipment storage locations can help reduce the social and environmental costs of spills over time. The purpose of this paper is to detail an innovative strategic planning approach to protect sensitive coastlines from oil spills. Using a combination of mathematical programming and geographic information systems (GIS), we explore a range of alternative, geographic configurations of spill response resources, attempting to improve their overall proximity to environmentally sensitive shoreline areas using a case study in coastal Alabama, Mississippi and Florida.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103549
JournalMarine Policy
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • GIS
  • Location modeling
  • Oil spill
  • Preparedness
  • Response
  • Spatial optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Law

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