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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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Developing a Stream Assessment Protocol 

CSS has been a significant contributor to the development and implementation of the Oregon Stream Function Assessment Method (SFAM) for more than 10 years. SFAM is a key component of the Oregon Stream Mitigation Program administered by the Oregon Department of State Lands.  The mitigation program is designed to address damage to aquatic resources caused…

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Webinar Support for Emergency Chemical Release Response

Our staff assisted the EPA team in developing the webinar event, acted as moderator, and provided technical support.

New Data and Reports on the U.S. Marine Economy

Each year CSS economists on contract with NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management work with other federal agencies to process the most recent economic and labor data, and extract the portions related to marine-dependent sectors.