NOAA Ocean Exploration Updates

Check this page to learn more about what is happening in NOAA Ocean Exploration, including recent accomplishments and announcements as well as information about upcoming events and activities. Or, visit the archive for past updates.

Jump to year:

2023 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017


  • Celebrating World Ocean Day 2023

    June 8, 2023

    In honor of World Ocean Day, rising leaders of the next generation of ocean stewards and explorers sat down to answer some questions and share some of their motivations, thoughts, and hopes for the ocean’s future.

    Read more
  • Watch Live: NOAA Expedition to Explore Deep Ocean off U.S. West Coast

    April 14, 2023

    Starting April 15, NOAA Ocean Exploration and partners will be diving within deep waters off the U.S. West Coast, from Oregon to Washington, and you are invited to join – LIVE!

    Read more
  • Seattle Port Event 2023: Explore With Us

    April 5, 2023

    On April 29, 2023, NOAA Ocean Exploration will spearhead a public port event in Seattle, Washington, in conjunction with regional NOAA entities. The port event will provide the public the chance to tour NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer and get a close-up look at the remotely operated vehicles used to explore the seafloor and water column, and to see deep-sea specimens, newly created bathymetric maps, and videos from past expeditions.

    Read more
  • Unexplored Waters of Alaska and California Mapped During Uncrewed Expedition

    March 15, 2023

    The Aleutians Uncrewed Ocean Exploration expedition has resulted in the mapping of more than 45,000 square kilometers (17,375 square miles) of seafloor in previously unexplored areas around Alaska’s Aleutian Islands and off the California coast.

    Read more
  • Announcing 2023 Ocean Exploration Education Grants to Advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

    March 1, 2023

    NOAA Ocean Exploration and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation have awarded 12 grants to help engage and inspire the next generation of ocean explorers by supporting diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility efforts related to ocean literacy and workforce development.

    Read more
  • NOAA Ocean Exploration 2023 U.S. West Coast Expeditions Overview (EX2208, EX2301, EX2302, EX2309, EX2310)

    February 22, 2023

    From October 2022 through December 2023, NOAA Ocean Exploration and partners will conduct a series of telepresence-enabled ocean exploration expeditions on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer to improve knowledge about unexplored and poorly understood deepwater areas of the U.S. West Coast from Southern California to Washington.

    Read more
  • UPDATE: Frontiers in Marine Science Paper Published

    January 10, 2023

    On January 10, 2023, the paper “Deep-sea biology in undergraduate classrooms: Open access data from remotely operated vehicles provide impactful research experiences,” was published in Frontiers in Marine Science. The paper highlights the value of course-based research in enhancing learning experiences, illustrating how students in an undergraduate marine biology laboratory course at SUNY Geneseo were able to use open-source ROV data to study the relationship between substrate type and biodiversity of deepwater coral communities located within the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument.

    Read more



  • NOAA Ocean Exploration Meets Major Mapping Milestone on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer

    November 15, 2021

    Two million square kilometers. Or 772,204 square miles. That’s more than one quarter the size of the contiguous United States. And it’s the area of seafloor mapped by NOAA Ocean Exploration using the modern, high-resolution multibeam sonar system aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer since the ship was commissioned in 2008.

    Read more
  • Discovery of SS Bloody Marsh

    November 1, 2021

    On October 28, 2021, NOAA Ocean Exploration discovered the likely wreck of SS Bloody Marsh, an oil tanker sunk off the coast of South Carolina by a German U-boat in 1943.

    Read more
  • Federal Communications Commission Special Event Station (W4U) Celebrating the Alabama Undersea Forest

    September 2, 2021

    Calling all ham radio operators: The Federal Communications Commission has authorized special event callsign W4U to operate through Saturday, September 11, 2021. This special event station, the “Gulf of Mexico Underwater Forests,” will educate the worldwide amateur radio community about a unique scientific discovery: remains of an ancient cypress forest that once graced the Alabama coastline but now, due to sea level rise, lies 60 feet beneath the waves.

    Read more
  • Ocean Exploration Fiscal Year 2021 Funding Opportunity Awards

    July 13, 2021

    Through the Ocean Exploration Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Funding Opportunity, NOAA Ocean Exploration selected eight projects for financial support totaling approximately $3.5 million. For the FY21 competition, we solicited proposals to map, explore, and characterize deep waters of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone to improve understanding of the vast ocean resources of the nation and to advance economic, health, security, and environmental interests.

    Read more
  • Meet the Explorers of the 2021 North Atlantic Stepping Stones Expedition

    June 24, 2021

    Expedition Coordinator Kasey Cantwell will join biology Science Lead Rhian Waller of the University of Maine, geology Science Co-Lead Jason Chaytor of the U.S. Geological Survey, and onshore scientist Chris Mah of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History for a discussion about the exploration, including memorable moments and interesting finds, expedition goals and roles, and more.

    Read more
  • Explore! Journey to Earth's Largest Habitat

    June 24, 2021

    2021 is NOAA Ocean Exploration’s 20th Anniversary. As part of the celebration, NOAA Communications released a story map that takes viewers deep into Earth’s largest habitat.

    Read more
  • Announcing

    June 8, 2021

    Developed through a partnership with NOAA Ocean Exploration, Ocean Exploration Trust, and Schmidt Ocean Institute, the Deep Ocean Education Project website combines standards-aligned student activities, high-resolution images and videos, stories from the field, and information needed to stay current on ocean exploration expeditions—making learning about the deep-sea accessible to all. Visitors to the website can save resources directly to a collection that they build and organize with a free account and share their collections directly with colleagues or friends.

    Read more
  • NOAA Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute Award Ceiling Increased to $150 Million

    June 3, 2021

    The NOAA Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute has received approval from NOAA to increase the amount of funding it is eligible to receive, called its award ceiling, from the original award ceiling of $94 million to $150 million over the initial five-year award period.

    Read more
  • 2021 Technology Demonstration: Meet the Explorers!

    May 5, 2021

    On Wednesday, May 5 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT, join a live event introducing the 2021 Technology Demonstration. NOAA Ocean Exploration’s Mike White, Meredith Everett of the NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Russell Smith of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Tim Shank of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution will discuss the technologies that will be tested on the expedition and the potential of these technologies for improving our collective understanding of both the ocean here on Earth, and possibly even oceans on other planets. The session will conclude with a question and answer session.

    Read more
  • Seafloor Mapping Data Reveals Large Number of Gas Seeps Off U.S. West Coast

    April 28, 2021

    The West Coast continental shelf is known to host methane bubble streams, formerly thought to be rare. However, results of a recently published paper indicate that nearly 3,500 methane bubble streams, clustered into more than 1,300 methane emission sites, emanate from the seafloor in an area known as the Cascadia Margin.

    Read more
  • Celebrating International Day of Women and Girls in Science

    February 11, 2021

    At NOAA Ocean Exploration, women are an integral part of the work being accomplished every single day. But today, February 11, we are taking a moment to reflect on contributions women members of the NOAA Ocean Exploration team have made to our mission to explore the ocean by sharing just a few web highlights from over the years.

    Read more





  • National Ocean Exploration Forum, October 20 - 21, 2017

    October 17, 2017

    On the weekend of October 21-22, 2017, experts in ocean exploration and data science will come together for the annual National Ocean Exploration Forum at the University of California San Diego’s Qualcomm Institute. The goal of the Forum, titled Ocean Exploration in a Sea of Data, is to move the way we experience ocean exploration data into the future.

    Read more
  • Ocean Exploration Celebration: October 1, 2017

    September 19, 2017

    Come celebrate ocean exploration with us! On October 1, 2017, we invite you to a very special opportunity to come tour two of the most technologically advanced research and exploration vessels in the world. Both Schmidt Ocean Institute’s R/V Falkor and NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer will be docked at the University of Hawaii Marine Center - Pier 35, Honolulu, Hawaii, celebrating recent exploration activities and preparing for upcoming expeditions.

    Read more
  • NOAA Ocean Exploration Launches Octonauts Corner Webpage

    April 21, 2017

    On April 19, NOAA Ocean Exploration launched the Ocotnauts Corner webpage. On this webpage, visitors can download Creature Cards (educational coloring sheets) and a Deep Sea Creature Chart and view related videos from Okeanos Explorer expeditions.

    Read more
  • From Surface to Seafloor: Exploration of the Water Column

    March 6, 2017

    On March 4-5, 2018, NOAA Ocean Exploration and the NOAA Cooperative Institute for Ocean Exploration, Research & Technology hosted a workshop, From Surface to Seafloor: Exploration of the Water Column.

    Read more
  • National Ocean Exploration Forum 2015 and 2016 Reports Available

    February 27, 2017

    The final reports from the 2015 and 2016 National Ocean Exploration Forums are now available.

    Read more

NOAA Ocean Exploration Updates Archive