Insights
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Providing Technical Assistance for Reporting Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse

Following the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in March 2024, high-profile news outlet, CNN, contacted NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management seeking ship traffic data and expertise from the Marine Cadastre team. CSS employee owners supporting the Marine Cadastre project (through a subcontract with Lynker) are the team’s data experts and were the most qualified to respond to the request. They provided the most recent vessel traffic (AIS) data available for public consumption for the Baltimore Harbor and Chesapeake Bay. In addition, CSS staff provided technical assistance to help the media understand the data and the information they provide.

AIS data are collected by the U.S. Coast Guard, and transponders are required for most commercial and recreational vessels over a specific weight or length. CNN staff used the data to develop a map that demonstrates ship traffic patterns in the Baltimore Harbor along with the route of the Dali, the large container ship that collided with the bridge support causing the collapse. This information helps visualize the impact to the port that the bridge collapse has and will continue to cause as the recovery effort continues.

CSS staff manage AIS Vessel Traffic data and the Marine Cadastre National Viewer. The red lines show areas of higher vessel traffic, which was greater than 1,500 vessels  in 2021.

For many years, CSS employee owners have processed, managed, and maintained AIS data. While part of the team’s intent to incorporate the data into Marine Cadastre was originally to assist users with conflict avoidance, the team is grateful they could assist with this request.

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Installing Environmental Monitoring Stations

Our field crews installed/updated two environmental monitoring stations in remote locations in the Pacific Northwest. Multiple types of sensors were installed including air and soil temperature, precipitation, soil moisture and soil redox potential. These stations provide data for designing and evaluating soil remediation projects for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Research and Development. Installing…

Employees Receive Green Sustainability Award of Excellence

Congratulations to our team supporting the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for receiving the Green Sustainability Award of Excellence. Our team led the charge helping CDC to upgrade their spill cabinets across all campuses (Atlanta, GA; Fort Collins, CO; San Juan, PR), which now include a more sustainable material called Trivorex ®. This highly absorbent…

Examining Cetaceans for Contamination and Pathogens

CSS has employee owners who are experts in monitoring cetacean health. Several CSS scientists supporting NOAA’s Centers for Coastal Ocean Science have recently conducted research and tests on marine mammals to explore uncommon behaviors and causes for strandings. View some examples of this research below. Microplastics are becoming increasingly abundant in coastal and marine environments.…