Safety & Risk



Marine Projects

MRS staff members have decades of experience in management and performance of marine research programs with a focus on providing clients with quality products designed specifically for use in environmental decision making. MRS is equipped to perform a wide variety of offshore benthic sampling programs as well as the analysis of physical oceanographic data. We have a long history of computer applications resulting in the expertise to perform computer-intensive analyses encompassing data-management, statistics, marine geology, physical oceanography, marine acoustics, fluid dynamics, sediment-transport, modeling, and time-series analysis. Selected examples of our experience with marine projects follows.

Monitoring of Long-Term Biological Recovery in Prince William Sound Alaska after the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
MRS is the prime contractor on this highly visible study being conducted for the U.S. Government to determine the extent of damage to intertidal biological communities in Prince William Sound, Alaska, that was caused by the Exxon Valdez oil spill. For more than a decade, data have been collected at many intertidal sites within the Sound to assess damage and characterize the rate of recovery. Innovative analysis techniques have been developed to assess damage and recovery from oil spills, and to investigate the severity of impacts caused by various spill-cleanup measures. Much of this research has been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. As part of this program, MRS staff developed an advanced grain-size analysis methodology that is capable of accurately resolving fine fractions within marine sediments. Recently, the monitoring program has evolved into a series of manipulative experiments to determine the exact mechanisms for oil-spill damage to sensitive intertidal organisms. In cooperation with scientists from the University of Washington, these field experiments are being conducted at sites within the Sound, and within the remote reaches of Kasitsna Bay, Alaska.

Marine Water and Sediment Quality Monitoring for City of Morro Bay
The City of Morro Bay has relied on MRS for all of its marine consulting work since July 1993. Most of this work involves extensive offshore monitoring of the City's wastewater discharge. Through MRS efforts, the City has been able to maintain a waiver from specific discharge requirements because MRS has been able to demonstrate an absence of impacts to the marine environment. The monitoring consists of quarterly water-quality surveys and annual benthic biological surveys in addition to intensive chemical scans of the effluent. MRS staff have also collected and analyzed sediment cores in Morro Bay to satisfy a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers pre-dredging permit requirement. Under the auspices of the Regional Water Quality Control Board, they have identified relict chromite mines with adjacent onshore watersheds as the source of an increasing sediment metal contamination offshore Morro Bay.

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