Lawmakers seek update of Great Lakes disaster maps

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Members of Congress want to modernize computer maps that assess which natural resources and infrastructure in the Great Lakes region are most vulnerable to disasters.

Environmental Sensitivity Index maps are developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They provide information that supports advance planning to deal with oil spills, major storms and other calamities.

Sens. Gary Peters of Michigan and Todd Young of Indiana have joined with several House members of both parties to introduce legislation requiring the first update of the maps in more than 20 years.

When revised, the maps would provide accurate assessments of coastal resources that are at risk. They include endangered and threatened species, sensitive shoreline habitats and community resources such as beaches, parks and boat ramps.

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