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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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NOAA Ocean Exploration Updates Archive