Insights
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  • Environmental Resource Assessment & Management

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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Expanding Our Offshore Wind Team

We’ve recently added several staff to bolster the offshore wind team at NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science. With this full team of 13, our employee owners are able to provide more focused support in their areas of expertise, including mapping and spatial modeling, data collection, communications, project management, and partner engagement. Through this…

Collecting and Studying Deep-Sea Coral

Three of our staff supporting NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science joined a team of nine other scientists on a 12 day expedition to collect deep-sea coral samples in the Gulf of Mexico.

1000 Samples of Lake Water Collected and Processed 

Congrats to our team supporting U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Research and Development for completing the processing and initial chemical analyses of 1000 lake water samples!  They received lake water samples from across the continental U.S. this past summer and have completed the initial chemical analyses as part of the U.S. EPA 2022 National…