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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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…

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…

Bee in a large, bright yellow bloom

Over 40 Years of Support

Since 1982, members of our staff have supported EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs. As part of this contract, our staff assess environmental and human health impacts on anthropogenic chemicals. The agricultural industry is critical to food and textile production, it is a large contributor to the U.S. economy. Not only does the industry provide food…