Insights
  • CSS in the News
  • 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.

See More CSS Insights

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…

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.

woman pointing to a sign talking to a group of students

Training the Next Generation of Researchers 

CSS staff support the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Division of Occupational Safety and Health by providing Safe Techniques Advance Research Science (STARS) training to summer interns. Following a pause during the pandemic, staff resumed training May 15, 2024. During the in-person STARS training, CSS staff cover key concepts from the pre-requisite NIH Lab Safety…