Fragments of orange coral with white tentacles on small cement anchors in a tank.

Mesophotic coral can live at depths of 500 feet below the ocean surface. Even at this depth, some of the mesophotic corals in the Gulf of Mexico were affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. Our coral scientists supporting NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science are studying the extent of this impact.

Three of our employee owners participated in a mission to extract the corals from the Gulf of Mexico that were then transported to laboratories in Galveston, Texas, Gainesville, Florida, and Charleston, South Carolina. Once the Charleston specimens were housed in custom-made tanks, our scientists began studying and caring for the corals. They feed the colony multiple times daily, and study their growth and reproduction. In an effort to restore the damaged coral colonies in the Gulf of Mexico, the team is studying how to maximize growth and outplanting at a larger scale.

See More CSS Insights

Providing Yearly Response Training 

CSS scientists supporting the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Scientific and Technical Assistance for Consequence Management (STACM) contract are experienced in EPA’s emergency response efforts, both natural and manmade. To help EPA staff prepare for these emergency response efforts, CSS staff provide yearly response training. The training includes review of respiratory protection equipment, operation checks, a…

Responding to HazMat Spills

CSS supports several Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) campuses throughout the U.S. On-site CSS personnel are trained in hazardous material spill response and clean-up and provide this support within buildings and throughout campuses. As part of our contract with the CDC Hazardous Waste Program, CSS hazmat-trained employee owners are responsible for safely collecting,…

long spined urchins in shallow water

Discovering the Urchin Killer 

A diver collects a long-spined sea urchin. Credit: Blake Gardner   Our employee owners were recently part of a team of detectives on a mission to discover the killer of long-spined sea urchins, Diadema antillarumy, throughout the Caribbean Sea. The infected urchins lose their spines, leaving them more vulnerable to predation or dying after a few…