Biological Sample Collection & Analysis

With over five decades of experience sampling, characterizing, and assessing biological organisms in marine and coastal environments, a core CSA capability is biological sample collection. Subject matter experts at CSA have conducted hundreds of multidisciplinary marine surveys worldwide, that have included the collection and analysis of biological organisms.


As with our sediment and water collection capabilities, the collection, preservation, and study of marine biological samples are often critical components to program integrity. We have the capability, experience, and equipment necessary to collect biological samples in water depths ranging from shallow coastal waters to full ocean depth. Due to domestic and foreign guidelines enforced by the various regulatory agencies, our field scientists and technicians are knowledgeable and experienced relative to the appropriate biological sampling, collection, and preservation procedures. Utilizing our knowledge of domestic and international regulations, we design and implement scientifically sound environmental programs and conduct rigorous data analyses according to strict quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) requirements. Our extensive industry experience enables CSA to focus on high-quality services and timely execution to meet project objectives.

Our biological sampling equipment and the ancillary support equipment required for deployment, such as winches and A-frames, are strategically located at our facilities worldwide. This extensive array of in-house sampling equipment allows us to cost effectively respond to a wide range of multidisciplinary environmental monitoring programs.

It is critical to have accurate positioning for any sampling activity. CSA uses a computerized navigation and positioning system (Hypack®) to accurately record the position of the collected biological samples. We have extensive experience planning, implementing, and conducting technical field operations throughout the U.S. and around the world.

Typical Projects and Activities

  • Offshore renewables and oil & gas Environmental Baseline Surveys (EBSs) and monitoring
  • CWA § 316(b) Impingement & Entrainment
  • Compliance monitoring
  • Benthic habitat monitoring
  • Environmental Impact Studies (EISs)
  • Beach renourishment
  • Ocean disposal of dredged material
  • Habitat evaluations
  • Toxicity testing and bioaccumulation studies
  • Macroinvertebrate analyses of marine invertebrates
  • Ground-truthing seabed mapping investigations

In addition to sediment sampling for benthic organisms using the grabs and cores, CSA uses a number of various types of plankton nets, mid-water trawls (to collect pelagic organisms), and dredges in order to collect biological samples from the seafloor. CSA owns and has extensive experience utilizing a wide range of biological sampling equipment.


Tools for benthic organisms

  • Bottom Grabs
    • Van Veen grab
    • Smith McIntyre Grab
    • Grey-O’Hara Box Core
  • Bottom Trawl
    • Beam trawling
    • Otter trawling
    • Shrimp trawling
    • Dredges
  • Corers
    • Gravity corer
    • Multiple core
    • Multi boxcorer

Tools for pelagic organisms

  • Midwater or pelagic trawl
  • Plankton nets
    • Ring net
    • Bongo nets
  • Neuston nets
  • Bongo nets
  • Drift nets
  • Gill nets

Learn More About CSA Ocean Sciences

Download Our Corporate Capabilities Statement


Corporate Headquarters

8502 SW Kansas Ave.
Stuart, FL 34997