Insights
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  • 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.

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Assisting With Maui Wildfire Recovery

As part of our support to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 9 Superfund Technical Assessment & Response Team (START)—for which we are subcontracted through Weston Solutions, Inc.—CSS employee owners have been on-site in three-week rotations to assist throughout the rigorous recovery process. 

Expanding a Popular Flood Exposure Tool

We recently assisted our client, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office for Coastal Management, with updating one of their most popular tools, the Coastal Flood Exposure Mapper.

Safety Support To First Responders

First responders put their lives on the line to help others, and our team helps safeguard their protection.  Our team on contract with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Respiratory Protection Program works with staff to test respirators and establish secure fits. Similarly, they provide these fit tests for fire department personnel on a regular…