The essays below will help you to understand the goals and objectives of the mission and provide additional context and information about the places being explored and the science, tools, and technologies being used.
Download the expedition factsheet (pdf, 2.2 MB).
By Mike White, Derek Sowers, Shannon Hoy, Stephanie Farrington, Kimberly Galvez, and Scott France
From October 31 through November 21, 2019, NOAA and partners will conduct the second part of a two-part telepresence-enabled ocean exploration expedition on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer to collect critical baseline information about unknown and poorly understood deepwater areas of the U.S. Southeast. As with previous Okeanos Explorer expeditions, NOAA will work closely with the science and resource management communities to explore priority deepwater areas.Read more
By Kimberly Galvez
Deep-sea corals, or cold-water corals, have been around for hundreds of thousands of years. They are globally distributed, with more biological hotspots being discovered every year. Generally, in order to survive, these cold-water corals need the right temperatures, oxygen saturation levels, and a current flow that transports their food supply. When all these conditions are met, deep-sea corals flourish. As corals begin to grow, reefs form and begin to alter the morphology of the seafloor. This is where deep-sea biology meets geology. The scale of seafloor alteration depends heavily on the current systems and the sediments that drift along with the particulate organic matter that the corals feed on.Read more
By Daniel Wagner and Heather Coleman
In 2016, NOAA launched a new four-year initiative to study deep-sea coral and sponge ecosystems across the Southeast United States, a region that includes the U.S. federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic Bight, and Caribbean Sea. This multidisciplinary effort, known as the Southeast Deep Coral Initiative (SEDCI), is led by a NOAA team from multiple line offices that work in close collaboration with partners from federal and academic institutions. Funding for SEDCI activities is provided primarily by NOAA through the Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program.Read more
By Anna Lienesch
NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer expeditions are most well-known for capturing never-before-seen footage of the deep sea and creating beautiful maps of the seafloor. But did you know that these videos and maps are only part of the data that is collected during Okeanos Explorer expeditions?Read more