As part of the state effort to prevent and control oil pollution, a continuing, comprehensive program of systematic baseline studies for the waters of the state shall be established by the department of ecology. Full utilization of related historical data shall be made in planning these studies. Data from these and other scientific investigations made pursuant to RCW 43.21A.405
should, whenever possible, have multiple use, including use as supporting evidence of environmental damage resulting from oil pollution, as indicators of the potential or existing risks and impacts of oil pollution, as aids to developing a methodology for implementing the reduction of risks, and as aids to maintaining water quality standards.
A baseline study program shall take full advantage of the data and information produced by related programs, such as the marine ecosystems analysis (MESA) program of the national oceanic and atmospheric administration, studies and inventories made pursuant to the state shorelines management act of 1971, and others. All phases of the program, including planning, operations, data analysis, interpretation, storage, retrieval, and dissemination phases, shall be coordinated to the greatest possible extent with appropriate governmental, academic, and industrial organizations. Whenever possible, the department shall contract with existing state agencies, boards, commissions, and institutions of higher education for the scientific investigation programs to be conducted.