NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer: Beyond the Blue: Illuminating the Pacific (EX2402, EX2403, EX2404, EX2405, EX2406, EX2407)

May 2024 - November 2024

Beyond the Blue: Illuminating the Pacific is envisioned as a multiyear, collaborative science and research campaign aimed at bringing together partners to raise collective knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of waters in the Pacific Islands region through coastal and ocean mapping, exploration, and characterization. Beginning in 2024, NOAA Ocean Exploration will work with partners to conduct multiple expeditions on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, lead outreach and education activities and events, and build additional partnerships in support of Beyond the Blue.

A total of six Beyond the Blue expeditions on Okeanos Explorer will take place in 2024, from May through November. As this year marks the return of Okeanos Explorer to the central Pacific region following work on the ship in the region in 2015-2017, efforts this year will focus on mapping deep waters of Hawaiʻi and Johnston Atoll. The mapping focus will allow us to build a foundation for future work through the collection of data needed for further exploration and provide a baseline of data needed to manage regional marine protected areas, including Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. This year, we will also build on and establish the collaboration, partnerships, and support necessary for successful exploration work in the region in future years, particularly in light of Beyond the Blue campaign efforts. We will not be conducting remotely operated vehicle operations in 2024.

Expedition dates, numbers, names, and ports of call for the six telepresence-enabled expeditions being conducted on Okeanos Explorer in support of Beyond the Blue in 2024 are as follows:

May 14 - June 9, 2024: EX2402: Beyond the Blue: Hawai‘i Mapping / Honolulu, Hawai‘i - Honolulu, Hawai‘i

July 18 - August 12, 2024: EX2404: Beyond the Blue: Papahānaumokuākea Mapping 2 / Honolulu, Hawai‘i - Honolulu, Hawai‘i

August 20 - September 7, 2024: EX2405: Beyond the Blue: Johnston Atoll Mapping 1 / Honolulu, Hawai‘i - Hilo, Hawai‘i

September 14 - October 10, 2024: EX2406: Beyond the Blue: Johnston Atoll Mapping 2 / Hilo, Hawai‘i - Honolulu, Hawai‘i

October 19 - November 12, 2024: EX2407: Beyond the Blue: Papahānaumokuākea Mapping 3 / Honolulu, Hawai‘i - Honolulu, Hawai‘i

Education Themes

Education theme pages provide the best of what the NOAA Ocean Exploration website has to offer to support educators in the classroom during this expedition. Each theme page includes expedition features, lessons, multimedia, career information, and associated past expeditions.

Media Resources

The Media Resources page provides members of the media with information, resources, and multimedia developed in association with the 2024 Beyond the Blue series of expeditions on Okeanos Explorer.

Media Contacts

Emily Crum

Communications Specialist
NOAA Ocean Exploration
ocean-explore-comms@noaa.gov

Keeley Belva

Public Affairs Officer
NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations
keeley.belva@noaa.gov

Sarah Marquis

West Coast/Pacific Islands Media Coordinator
NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
sarah.marquis@noaa.gov

Expeditions conducted by NOAA Ocean Exploration as part of Beyond the Blue will contribute to the National Strategy for Exploring, Mapping, and Characterizing the United States Exclusive Economic Zone and Seabed 2030.

As appropriate, data collected during all expeditions will be available in NOAA’s public data archives within 90-120 days of its completion and will be accessible via the NOAA Ocean Exploration Data Atlas.