January 26, 2022
NOAA’s Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program has completed its multiyear highly collaborative effort known as the Southeast Deep Coral Initiative. Initiative collaborators explored and characterized deep-sea coral and sponge ecosystems in the federal waters of the U.S. South Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean. Researchers completed 21 expeditions to survey deep-sea coral and sponge ecosystems using ships, submersibles (including remotely and autonomously operated vehicles), and other equipment. Complementary research projects conducted in partnership with universities focused on seafloor mapping, species identification, habitat suitability modelling, environmental and oceanographic monitoring, and data analysis.
The Southeast Deep Coral Initiative, which began in 2016, was led by NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science in collaboration with NOAA Fisheries, NOAA Ocean Exploration, and the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. This effort was made possible through a variety of funding sources and extensive local, academic, and federal partners. NOAA has published the final initiative report.
The full story is available on the NOAA Fisheries website.NOAA Ocean Exploration-supported expeditions related to the Southeast Deep Coral Initiative:
Published January 26, 2022