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NCCOS Project

Coastal Pollution Data Explorer

Region(s) of Study: U.S. States and Territories
This project began in October 2022 and is projected to be completed in September 2025.

The Coastal Pollution Data Explorer will be an interactive web-based interface where users can explore spatial and temporal trends of chemical, physical, biological, and toxicological data. Users can compare, analyze, graph, and download NCCOS contaminant data from 1986 to the present. Data from other sources will be included in the Coastal Pollution Data Explorer to enhance interpretation and understanding of coastal pollution.

Why We Care
The Coastal Pollution Data Explorer will be a user-friendly application that provides a one-stop shop for access, download, and visualization of NCCOS’s chemical contaminants, biological, and toxicological data. The Data Explorer will make NCCOS data more accessible to the public through an interactive web-based data interface, with features like previewing and downloading the data, but also graphing, mapping, analyzing, and integrating results to other data resources. A better understanding of the coastal chemical stressors dynamics and ecological impacts will help inform the resource management decision-making process.

What We Are Doing
The new data exploration platform will provide users with:

  • Interactive & Consolidated Data Services. A single interface to serve high-quality and quality-controlled chemical, physical, biological, and toxicological data, along with other publicly available data (e.g., human population, social vulnerability, coastal ecosystems, land cover).
  • Applications and Tools. Users can download, compare, synthesize, analyze, graph, and map contaminant data (including DDT, PFOS/PFAS, and oil-related contaminants) from 1986 to the present. Data filter tools will allow users to target data by type (e.g., chemical, biological, toxicity), chemical class (organic, inorganic, ancillary), and specific locations (sites, water body, regions). These tools will accelerate users’ interpretation of the data, including spatial and temporal trends.
  • Answers to Frequently Asked Questions. Data filters, graphing, and mapping tools will target data within the maps and charts to provide answers to questions such as: What are regional concentration trends of contaminants from 1990 to present, and how does this vary between sediment and tissue samples? Within Chesapeake Bay, how has concentration of contaminants changed since 1986? Where is PFAS concentration the highest? What is the sampling frequency near a site for the last 20 years? What are contaminant concentrations near the socially vulnerable portions of my community?

Next Steps

Mary Rider and Felipe Arzayus en route to Lake Erie dive site near Buffalo, New York, September 2022.

Mary Rider and Felipe Arzayus en route to Lake Erie dive site near Buffalo, New York, to collect and analyze water, sediment, and mussel samples for contamination, September 2022.
Credit: NOAA.

  • We are meeting with end users to identify key features to ensure the Coastal Pollution Data Explorer is meeting your needs. If you would like to share your thoughts, please email the contacts listed above.
  • An initial version of the Data Explorer will be available online in the fall 2023. Additional data and features will be added to continue to expand the Data Explorer.

Additional Resources

Click to expand resource list(s).

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NCCOS delivers ecosystem science solutions for stewardship of the nation’s ocean and coastal resources to sustain thriving coastal communities and economies.

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