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Bringing the Deep Sea to Ft. Johnson - Telepresence Exploration by NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer

Daniel Wagner, NOAA/NCCOS

30 March 2018

From April 11-May 3, 2018 NOAA and partners will conduct a telepresence-enabled expedition on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer to collect critical baseline information about unknown and poorly understood deep-water habitats in the Gulf of Mexico. The expedition will explore deep-water habitats using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and broadcast live footage to shore, where it will be displayed at various public displays including at the Hollings Marine Laboratory in Charleston. Despite the Gulf of Mexico's proximity to land and significant industrial footprint, there is still much to explore. The Gulf contains a wide range of habitats and fascinating deep-water habitats including deep-sea coral gardens, brine pools, submarine canyons, and mud volcanoes. The Gulf also contains various significant shipwrecks and other submerged cultural heritage sites that have yet to be revealed. Over the course of the expedition, many of these areas will be surveyed, and live imagery shared with the general public. On March 30, 2018, Dr. Daniel Wagner, science lead for the expedition and Research Coordinator for NOAA’s Southeast Deep Coral Initiative, will give a brief presentation highlighting the objectives of the expedition. He will share recent discoveries made by past deep-sea explorations of NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer in the Pacific, and talk about some of the things they might see during the upcoming expedition to the Gulf of Mexico.