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. After completing 23 dives at 14 sites the team collected 36 live samples of coral, some of which have never previously been kept in an aquaria environment. The team also collected genetic samples, water samples for eDNA and aquaculture reference, and samples for microbiology and microscopy. The team transported the live coral samples to the Hollings Marine Laboratory in Charleston, South Carolina where they will be studied for genetics, population connectivity, reproduction, and other important information that help scientists understand and protect coral reefs.

A boat in the middle of the ocean.
Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium for Ocean Research operates the research vessel Point Sur.
Orange coral polyps with small white tentacles along the tops.
Close-up of collected coral sample.
Two clear collection tubs separated into two sides containing orange branching corals in one side and darker branching coral in the other.
The team collected live coral samples and kept them alive on-board while being transported to the laboratory.

See More Success CSS Stories

Organizing Teams to Monitor Coastal Contaminants

For nearly 40 years NOAA’s National Mussel Watch Program has been monitoring contaminants in coastal waters in over 400 sites around the U.S. by testing sediment and bivalves, such as oysters and mussels. A CSS employee owner organizes and coordinates the regional missions to collect and test samples. This includes developing a schedule and coordinating…

Bee on a flower

Developing a Database for Ecosystem Service Models 

CSS scientists have been major developers and contributors to the online U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s EcoService Models Library (ESML) database since its inception in 2012. The ESML database contains detailed but concise descriptions of ecosystem service models to facilitate the selection of models by ecosystem scientists for a variety of management and research applications. The…

stream running through a wooded area

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…