Environmental analysis for development planning Chambers County, Texas. An approach for describing natural systems and for assessing natural environmental impact.
The work of the Environmental Analysis Component is the subject of this report. The central research question for this component centered around how information about the natural environment characteristics of a given geographic area can be integrated with information about various types of land use so that the natural environmental effects of land use activities can be identified and evaluated. The research was concerned both with the development of a general approach for assessing the natural environmental impact of land uses and with the development of an approach for scientific application in Chambers County, Texas. The research objectives were: 1.To develop techniques for describing the natural environmental system in a manner which allowed the interrelationships between natural environmental characteristics to be identified and described. 2. To develop a methodology for deriving a natural environmental description that reflects both the underlying framework and relationships between natural features and that allows visualization of the effects of proposed development and its impacts. The resultant methodology should be general enough to allow alteration and reinterpretation as new environmental information becomes available. 3. To develop an approach for identifying and assessing the natural environmental effects of a range of land uses. The approach was to be generally applicable to local land management decision-making, as well as to serve the specific needs of Chambers County. In addition the approach was to be responsive to its applications context and problems of local land management decision-making. 4. To conduct a series of four case study applications of this environmental impact assessment approach with state and local user agencies for the purposes of assessing the applicability of the techniques.