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March 30, 2023  ̶  Ocean Wise has renewed the software maintenance agreement for its PollutionTracker program with EarthSoft.

EQuIS™ Online, EarthSoft’s software-as-a-service product on the Microsoft Azure cloud, provides Ocean Wise the power to collaborate with coastal partners to monitor marine pollution in British Columbia, Canada.

Ocean Wise released Phase 2 of the initial PollutionTracker study, analyzing results from sediment and mussels collected from over 75 sites along the coast of British Columbia and sent to specialized laboratories for analysis of over 450 chemical contaminants, as well as microplastics. The contaminants detected in both Phase 1 and 2 samples reflect a variety of sources, including local urban and industrial inputs to the marine environment (e.g., wastewater and effluent discharges, road run-off, storm-water inputs, shipping activities, pesticide use), external inputs (e.g., contaminants carried from other places via oceanic and atmospheric transport), and oceanographic factors (e.g., currents, water depth, bottom substrate).  

Phase 3 of Pollution Tracker officially launched in 2021 and will run until 2024, building on Phase 1 and Phase 2 results at dedicated sites, expanding the project’s spatial coverage, and continuing to build a valuable baseline dataset that will help BC better understand, manage, and prevent marine pollution.  

With a quickly expanding dataset and sights set on expansion to other coastlines, Ocean Wise needed a solution for data storage and easy data retrieval. Ocean Wise adopted EQuIS as their solution to manage the PollutionTracker dataset because of EQuIS’ widespread use and dependable reputation, and due to EarthSoft’s support of non-profit environmental research and conservation work. Ocean Wise aims to use the PollutionTracker data to inform various contaminant-related marine research projects, from investigating the effects of contaminants on the health of marine mammals to looking at the safety of traditional seafoods for human consumers in coastal communities.

A case study of Ocean Wise’s work with EQuIS is available here.

Posted March 29, 2023 by Nic Schulz

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