Area Contingency Plan (ACP)

The Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) has partnered with the U.S. Coast Guard to make several of the Coast Guard's Area Contingency Plans, an oil and hazardous material spill planning and response tool, digitally available on DVD and the Web.

interactive map with links to the full Area Contingency Plans for all seven sectors Sector Mobile Sector St Pete Sector Key West Sector Miami Sector Jax MSU Savannah Sector Charleston Sector San Juan

Digital ACP Regions:

USCG District Seven

Sector Saint Petersburg - Current as of 2008
Sector Key West - Current as of 2012
Sector Miami - Current as of July 2013
Sector San Juan - Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands (St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix)
- Current as of 2011
Sector Jacksonville - Current as of 2013
Sector Charleston, South Carolina - Current as of 2011
MSU Savannah, Georgia - Current as of 2011

USCG District Eight and USEPA

Sector Mobile (Panhandle FL, AL, and MS) - Current as of 2009

Other Planning and Response Resources

Statewide "Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil" Atlases

Florida "Tidal Inlet Protection Strategies for Oil Spill Response"

Florida’s Wildlife Contingency Plan for Oil Spill Response

Why DIGITAL Area Contingency Plans?
In response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, the United States government quickly enacted legislation to specifically address many of the deficiencies identified in the response system at that time. The inadequacies included a lack of a unified effort between local, state, and federal stakeholders; no common defined federal, state, or local response structure; poor management of information given to the press, public, and other affected parties; and minimal information exchange between all parties. These deficiencies were addressed in the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90), which required the development of Area Contingency Plans (ACP) for all coastal areas of the United States through Area Committees composed of regional federal, state, and local stakeholders.

The Area Contingency Plan (ACP) was developed to address removal of oil and hazardous substances from waterways. The plan, prepared by an Area Committee, is designed to be implemented in conjunction with the National Contingency Plan (NCP)and is formatted within an Incident Command System (ICS) framework. The ICS outlines the roles and responsibilities of various agencies in response to a large-scale event such as an oil spill or terrorist attack. In addition to the ICS framework, the ACP geographically defines regional environmental and socio-economic resources that require priority protection. This planning process is necessary to reduce response lag time and help direct sometimes limited local response resources to areas of higher sensitivity. The Geographic Response Plan (GRP) is composed of a series of maps and site-specific response locations termed priority protection areas. In each location, the resources at risk and specific response strategies define each priority protection point. Within the digital ACP, these interactive maps enable planners and responders to get needed answers in a few mouse clicks. The plan's boundaries include those areas within the jurisdiction (Area of Responsibility) of the U.S. Coast Guard's Marine Safety Office (MSO) for a region, known as the Captain of the Port (COTP) Zone.

The area contingency planning process is based on the premise that proper planning is essential to a safe and effective response. Regulatory language in OPA 90 requires that these plans be based on the best available scientific information at the time of their development. It is the Area Committee's job to enhance the response community's ability to successfully mitigate substantial threats or actual incidents through an effective and coordinated planning process. The purpose of these plans is to define roles, responsibilities, resources, and procedures necessary to respond to a myriad of spill response possibilities. By conversion to a digital product, these plans have taken a great step forward by the integration of numerous additional reference documents, Incident Command Systems (ICS) forms, contact lists, policy letters, sensitive environmental resource data, response maps, and robust GIS projects with a myriad of planning and response data and tools. By making this information available in a user-friendly digital format to all stakeholders, a unified and coordinated response becomes much easier. It is important to note that the ACP is a plan for use in responding to an incident. Information found in these plans relating to such items as response resources should not be viewed as performance standards. These are planning criteria based on a set of assumptions that may not exist during an actual incident.

The ACP document is at the heart of the digital ACP and is generally composed of the following sections:

  • Section 1000 (Introduction) provides the authority and theoretical framework for the current response system in the United States.
  • Section 2000 (Command) discusses the Unified Command concept while detailing the staff responsibilities of the Unified Command members including Information, Safety, and Liaison positions.
  • Section 3000 (Operations) describes the structure and role of the Operations section, including geographic response plans, which divide the entire COTP Zone into manageable areas. The links to the maps provide much of the information necessary to identify sensitive areas and plan response operations.
  • Section 4000 (Planning) provides the Planning Section structure and roles while detailing required correspondence and permit and consultation procedures.
  • Section 5000 (Logistics) addresses the Logistics Section.
  • Section 6000 (Finance) details the Finance and Administration Section.
  • Section 7000 (Hazardous Materials) addresses Hazardous Materials response.
  • Section 8000 (Marine Fire Fighting) houses the Marine Fire Fighting Plan.
  • Section 9000 (Appendices) contains the appendices for the plan, including notification procedures, personnel and resource directories, a draft Incident Action Plan (IAP), and other relevant documentation.

To allow for consistency across the nation while still accounting for geographic differences, the design of all United States Coast Guard ACPs is based on this basic format. The format also allows for easier manipulation in a computer medium. This plan will be available for downloading in a digital format from the USCG's ACP Web site. As part of the partnering agreement with the U.S. Coast Guard, FWRI has developed a Web Mapping Application site to serve the spatial elements of the Geographic Response Plans through the Internet. The IMS Web site contains four categories of data used in planning and response activities. These theme categories and examples of the types of information contained within them are as follows:

  • ACP Layers (site specific response and protection strategies)
  • Boundary Layers (COTP Zones, counties, shoreline, bathymetry, etc.)
  • Environmental Layers (mangroves, salt marsh, Environmental Sensitivity Index [ESI] shoreline, seagrass, primary wildlife areas, etc.)
  • Socio-Economic Layers (marinas, boat ramps, water intake locations, roads, population density, etc.)

This Web site makes the data and mapping capabilities of the Digital ACP available to users who have no access to expensive GIS mapping software. The Web site is viewable to anyone with a newer Web browser and Internet access speed of at least 33.6 Kbps. The full content of the Area Contingency Plan, including supporting documents and interactive Geographic Response Plan maps in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) is available through the Web site.

The Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) has partnered with the U.S. Coast Guard to make several of the Coast Guard's Area Contingency Plans (ACP), an oil and hazardous material spill planning and response tool, digitally available on CD and the Web. Regions completed and serving on the Web are: Western Central Florida, Southeast Florida, Florida Keys, Northeast and Eastern Central Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Northwest Florida, Charleston, South Carolina, Savannah, Georgia and Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

DIGITAL ACP REGIONS

Most files below are in Adobe PDF format, and require Adobe Reader to view. To download Adobe Reader, visit http://get.adobe.com/reader/

USCG District Seven

Sector Saint Petersburg - Current as of 2008
Entire Contents of Sector Saint Petersburg Digitial Area Contingency Plan
Sector Saint Petersburg Area Contingency Plan Document (6.78 MB)(current as of 2012)
Sector Saint Petersburg Geographic Response Plan (GRP) Maps (1.1 MB)
Tidal Inlet Protection Strategies for St.Petersburg COTP Zone (216 KB)
Environmental Sensitivity Index Atlas Maps for Sector St Petersburg:
   West Peninsula Florida Volume 1 (184 KB to 2.3 MB)
   West Peninsula Florida Volume 2 (366 KB to 1.7 MB)
User Guides for Sector Saint Petersburg Area Contingency Plan (379 KB to 6.7 MB)

Sector Key West - Current as of 2012
Entire contents of Sector Key West Digital Area Contingency Plan
Sector Key West Area Contingency Plan Document (16 MB)(current as of 2012)
Geographic Response Plan (GRP) Maps (~1 MB)
Tidal Inlet Protection Strategies for Sector Key West COTP Zone
South Florida Environmental Sensitivity Index Atlas for Sector Key West (~1 MB)

Sector Miami - Current as of 2013
Entire contents of Sector Miami Digital Area Contingency Plan
Sector Miami Area Contingency Plan Document (11 MB)(Current as of 2012)
Geographic Response Plan (GRP) Maps (2.2 MB)
Tidal Inlet Protection Strategies for Sector Miami COTP Zone (223 KB)
Environmental Sensitivity Index Atlas Maps for Sector Miami:
   East Florida Maps (101 KB)
   South Florida Maps (177 KB)

Sector San Juan - Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands (St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix)
Entire contents of the Sector San Juan Digital Area Contingency Plan Web Site
Sector San Juan Coastal Area Contingency Plan Documents (PDF sizes vary)(current as of 2006)
Sector San Juan Geographic Response Plan Maps(PDF sizes vary)
Environmental Sensitivity Index Atlas Maps for Sector San Juan-US Virgin Islands:
   Puerto Rico(PDF sizes vary)
   U.S. Virgin Islands(PDF sizes vary)

Sector Jacksonville - Current as of 2013
Entire contents of the Jacksonville, Florida Digital Area Contingency Plan
Sector Jacksonville Area Contingency Plan Document(12 MB)(Current as of 2012)
Sector Jacksonville Geographic Response Plan (GRP) Maps
Sector Jacksonville Tidal Inlet Protection Strategies
Environmental Sensitivity Index Atlas Maps for Sector Jacksonville:
   East Florida
   St Johns River

Sector Charleston, South Carolina - Current as of 2011
South Carolina Digital Coastal Area Contingency Plan
South Carolina Coastal Area Contingency Plan Document (3.88 MB)(Current as of 2011)
Sector Charleston's Geographic Response Plan (GRP) Maps (PDF sizes vary)
Environmental Sensitivity Index Atlas for Sector Charleston (PDF sizes vary)

MSU Savannah, Georgia - Current as of 2011
Georgia and Southern SC Coastal Digital Area Contingency Plan
Georgia and Southern SC Coastal Area Contingency Plan Document (2.74 MB)(Current as of 2011)
MSU Savannah's Geographic Response Plan Maps (PDF sizes vary)
Environmental Sensitivity Index Atlas for Savannah COTP Zone (PDF sizes vary)

USCG District Eight and US-EPA

Sector Mobile - Panhandle FL, AL, and MS - Current as of 2009
Entire contents of the Sector Mobile Digital Area Contingency Plan Web Site
Sector Mobile Coastal Area Contingency Plan Documents (Current as of 2012)
Sector Mobile Geographic Response Plan (GRP) Maps (1.3 MB)
Environmental Sensitivity Index Atlas Maps for Sector Mobile
   West Florida
   Alabama
   Mississippi

Future Area Contingency Plan regions are in development and will be serving soon,
so please check back frequently.
For more information, please contact Ryan Druyor at FWRI.
Phone: (727) 502-4861.
Email: Ryan.Druyor@MyFWC.com



FWC Facts:
Horseshoe crabs are not crabs. They are in a class by themselves and are more closely related to spiders, scorpions and ticks.

Learn More at AskFWC