Since 1970, CSA Ocean Sciences Inc. (CSA) has specialized in providing scientific and operational marine environmental consultancy expertise in support of multidisciplinary projects in the coastal and offshore environment. As each year draws to a close, we like to take a look back at the various milestones achieved and thank the many people—employees, customers, and other collaborators—that have contributed to making the previous 12 months a success. Just like the previous 52 years, 2022 was a busy one and included the successful completion of several large projects, all of which serve to showcase CSA’s diversification, unique skills, and geographic reach. Here is a sampling from the past year:
- New Office:
- Suriname: A new corporate office was opened in Suriname to help meet the growing demand for expert marine environmental, geophysical, and geotechnical services in Latin America, most notably from the offshore energy sector amid increased exploration and drilling activity in the Guyana-Suriname basin.
- Ocean Mining Science: CSA completed a ground-breaking deepwater sampling campaign in the Tropical Eastern Pacific for The Metals Company (TMC), which included successfully collecting pelagic biota from a record depth of 4,000 m below the surface. Operating successfully at this record-breaking depth represents another milestone for our team in terms of planning, mobilizing, and executing advanced collection techniques in some of the most remote and hazardous waters on the planet. This project will help establish a better understanding of the symbiotic relationship between the physical environment and local inhabitants of the Tropical Eastern Pacific.
- Deepwater Canyons: Working in partnership with the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), CSA published a comprehensive, open-access atlas of U.S. submarine canyons that mapped and charactered medium to large submarine canyons in the US Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). These maps and seafloor data will prove instrumental to the development of national and regional Environmental Impact Statements (EISs), Environmental Assessments (EAs), ecological investigations, offshore leasing decisions, and President Biden’s “America the Beautiful” initiative. A second atlas has also been prepared for BOEM to complete the assessment of the remaining 59 large submarine canyons on the U.S. OCS in the Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic Oceans, and Gulf of Mexico that were not included in the initial project. In addition, large canyon features associated with the U.S. territories and possessions within the U.S. EEZ will be included and scheduled for release in 2023.
- Onshore Surveys: Through CSA’s subsidiary CSA Ocean Sciences (Trinidad) Ltd, an onshore environmental survey (OES) program on the south coast of Trinidad was completed. As part of the OES program, CSA conducted Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) at an onshore marine terminal and its immediate surroundings at Guayaguayare, Trinidad.
- Gulf of Mexico Coral Assessment: On behalf of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (GMFMC), CSA completed a scientifically robust ecological assessment of coral and coral-related habitats in the northern Gulf of Mexico, considered to be a Habitat Area of Particular Concern. This project centered around a site-specific and comparative review of potential risks to mesophotic corals (found in water depths of 30 to 150 m) and deep-water corals (deeper than 150 m) in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico (from 9 to 200 nautical miles offshore). This helps to establish a means of prioritizing which sites would benefit from protective intervention measures and ongoing mitigation.
- Passive Water Column Sampling – Mediterranean Sea: CSA conducted a milestone water quality monitoring project for an oil and gas major in the Mediterranean Sea. This campaign marks the first time that passive sampling devices (PSDs) have been successfully used in Israeli waters to conduct water quality studies for the oil and gas industry. CSA has a 52-year history of investing in the latest marine technology engineered to advance ocean science and this campaign amply demonstrates how our group of companies is partnering with the offshore industries to introduce increasingly efficient, safe, and environmentally sound sampling solutions to the multidisciplinary marine survey practices associated with responsible ocean exploration.
Happy Holidays, and here’s to a very safe, prosperous—and busy—2023!
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