Northwest Fisheries Science Center

ESP Data

The Environmental Sample Processor (ESP) is an advanced biosensor. It remotely and autonomously samples the water, conducts molecular analyses to look for target organisms and toxins, and telemeters the results to scientists at their desks in near real-time. The ESP is being deployed on an existing near-real time ocean observatory located 13 miles offshore from the town of La Push, Washington within the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary at a NANOOS mooring site. This site was chosen because it is a likely transport path for toxic Pseudo-nitzschia blooms onto the coastal beaches where they can contaminate shellfish. The deployment is part of an The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site IOOS funded project.

Data from the 2016 West Coast Deployment

Our partners

This project is comprised of a multi-sector team of partners that combines expertise from academia (UW's Applied Physics Laboratory and School of Oceanography, Northwest Indian College (NWIC), and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI)), the sensor-building industry (Spyglass Technologies, Inc.), IOOS (NANOOS), government (NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center and Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research), and the private sector (MBARI).

About the ESP plots

A description of the terms used in the legends for the ESP graphs are provided below:

≤LLOD (less than or equal to lower limit of detection) = value is below or just equal to the sensor's ability to return a positive value; value could range from zero to the LLOD.

LLOD < y < LLOQ (greater than lower limit of detection but less than lower limit of quantification) = sensor returned a positive value, but is too low to quantify reliably; value could range from the LLOD to the LLOQ value (value reported represents the average of the LLOD and LLOQ values).

Quantifiable = sensor returned a positive value that could be quantified reliably.

>ULOQ (greater than upper limit of quantification) = value is above the sensor's ability to quantify reliably; true value is greater than the value reported by some unknown amount.


  • image of warning of toxic shellfish.
    Video: Learn about the Environmental Sample Processor that helps scientists better forecast blooms of harmful algae and bacteria in Puget Sound and beyond.