April 10, 2014
From April 12-30, members of the public are invited to join NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer
as it explores deep-sea habitats in the Gulf of Mexico. "Virtual ocean explorers" will have the chance to see canyons, deep-sea coral communities, and shipwrecks dating to the early 1800s via live video transmitted from the deep seafloor.
"This is an exciting opportunity for the public to join us as we explore the Earth's ocean to obtain and share scientific information that describes largely unknown ocean areas. This information can then be used by ocean resource managers, coastal communities, offshore industries and others to inform decisions about how best to manage, use and protect the ocean and its resources," said John McDonough, the acting director of NOAA's Office of Exploration and Research.
"America's Gulf is our backyard, yet there is a great deal we still need to learn about its sea floor, sea life and maritime heritage," he added.
Anyone with Internet access can follow the expedition on NOAA's website
, which will chronicle the expedition through live and archived videos, background science essays, still images, logs from the science team, curricula and educational modules. Last year's Okeanos
expedition to the North Atlantic Ocean drew more than 900,000 visits to the web pages as the public watched dynamic underwater sea creatures, visited rarely seen underwater landscapes and heard scientists describe the underwater world. To view video this year, go to: http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/okeanos/media/exstream/exstream_04.html