For nearly 40 years NOAA’s National Mussel Watch Program has been monitoring contaminants in coastal waters in over 400 sites around the U.S. by testing sediment and bivalves, such as oysters and mussels. A CSS employee owner organizes and coordinates the regional missions to collect and test samples. This includes developing a schedule and coordinating several teams to collect samples in different subregions for each region as well as shipping equipment and supplies needed for each of the team to carry out their tasks.

CSS employee owners work alongside federal program staff and local partners to collect samples throughout the regions. In fiscal year 2024 CSS staff deployed to the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific Ocean, which includes Alaska, Hawaii, and the West Coast. The team adds data they collect during these missions to the Coastal Pollution Data Explorer, a cloud-based ArcGIS platform that allows users to search by location or type of contaminant, generate a report, and download the data. A CSS employee owner serves as the lead developer for this online platform. Learn more about NOAA’s National Mussel Watch Program.

Three people on a boat.
Person on a boat holding a bucket.

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Large-Scale Decontamination Proves Successful

In the spring of 2022, we worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Coast Guard on a project called Analysis for Coastal Operational Resiliency-Wide Area Demonstration (WAD) which tests large scale decontamination following the release of surrogate bioagents. The team conducted a WAD at a military base in Virginia to test decontamination…

Bee on a flower

Developing a Database for Ecosystem Service Models 

CSS scientists have been major developers and contributors to the online U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s EcoService Models Library (ESML) database since its inception in 2012. The ESML database contains detailed but concise descriptions of ecosystem service models to facilitate the selection of models by ecosystem scientists for a variety of management and research applications. The…

Contributing to Wind Energy Area Designations 

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) recently announced two Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) in the Gulf of Mexico. The WEAs are located off the coasts of Galveston, Texas, and Lake Charles, Louisiana and have the potential to power nearly three million homes.   BOEM collaborated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to identify…