The Issue: 

The global human population is rising, but the global abundance of wild fish is not. CSS supports NOAA and its partners to make progress toward ending overfishing in the United States through sound, science-based management practices, but wild fish harvests cannot meet current seafood demands. By expanding seafood farming we can ensure a safe, secure, and sustainable local seafood supply. 

The Solution: 

Seafood farming, if done responsibly — as it is in the U.S. — is increasingly recognized as one of the most environmentally sustainable ways to produce food and protein. Marine aquaculture is a resource-efficient method of increasing and diversifying U.S. seafood production that can expand and stabilize U.S. seafood supply in the face of environmental change and economic uncertainty. 

CSS Innovations and Contributions:   

National AquaMapper 

The National AquaMapper is a web application that combines a web mapping interface with relevant data for aquaculture planning in eight regions across the U.S. federal waters. CSS supported the development of this product in partnership with the NOAA National Ocean Service’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) and www.marinecadastre.gov, where many of the data layers can be downloaded for use in GIS software. 

Aquaculture Opportunity Area (AOA) Atlases: U.S. Southern California Bight and Gulf of Mexico 

For the first phase of AOA identification (year 1), CSS supported NOAA in developing two marine spatial aquaculture atlases to identify regions that might be suitable for locating AOAs in two regions: the U.S. Southern California Bight and the Gulf of Mexico. The Atlases were developed based on best available science and through extensive public engagement and provide the most comprehensive marine spatial analyses ever developed for any U.S. ocean space. Each Atlas used spatial modeling with over 200 data layers that characterize ocean neighborhoods and identified many options in each region that may be highly suitable for AOA development. 

Environmental Interactions Research

CSS supports research to help us understand interactions between aquaculture and the environment to determine how aquaculture can grow waterfront communities, improve ecosystem health, and provide a sustainable seafood supply.

Coastal Aquaculture Planning Portal (CAPP)

The Coastal Aquaculture Planning Portal (CAPP) is a toolbox of coastal planning tools designed to assist managers, planners, and industry with sustainable aquaculture development. CSS supported the development of this in partnership with Digital Coast, a product of the NOAA National Ocean Service Office for Coastal Management.

Environmental Modeling

CSS supports environmental modeling that creates and uses mathematical models to better understand the potential impacts of aquaculture on the surrounding environment. Environmental modeling and ecosystems research provide an interdisciplinary analysis that can inform decision making and policy and determine appropriate locations to site aquaculture development.

Entanglement Simulator

CSS supported the development of the Entanglement Simulator as a tool for coastal managers, conservation biologists, and industry to minimize entanglement risk in offshore renewable energy and aquaculture installations. The Entanglement Simulator is constructed to provide realistic animal and physical gear models and is capable of analyzing thousands of interactions generated either by computer or the user. Simulations can be used to inform research for engineering design of aquaculture farms and renewable energy mooring systems and provide regulators with data to inform protected species risk assessments.

Key Technical Services:

  • Sustainable Algae / Shellfish / Finfish Planning and Siting
  • Environmental Interactions Research
  • Environmental Modeling
  • AquaTools to Support Sustainable Aquaculture Development

Additional Projects

Pacific Ecological Services Division Project (PESD)

Since 1996 CSS has conducted field and lab-based research in support of the Pacific Ecological Services Division Project

Industrial Hygiene and Safety Support Services to NIH, Division of Occupational Health and Safety (DOHS)

CSS has provided IH and safety support to NIH, DOHS as a prime contractor since 2007.

Cleaning Up the National Anthrax Attack

Challenge CSS working alongside of the U. S. Centers for Disease Control characterized the extent of building contamination and subsequently determined that the entire 100,000 foot building and contents would need to be decontaminated. A novel method needed to be developed and implemented for cleaning the massive number of mail pouches, packages and artifacts destined…

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