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Deep-Sea Study To Begin Off Southeast Coast

Map showing a broad view of the study area. Image: USGS.

A team of scientists is set to launch in the coming weeks a four-and-a-half year study of deep-sea coral, canyon and gas-seep ecosystems in the mid- and south Atlantic.

This group will travel aboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s ship Pisces to explore biological features and geological processes, such as corals and naturally occurring gas seeps and the organisms that inhabit them. The deep-water habitats are between 30 and 130 miles offshore of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the U.S. Geological Survey and NOAA’s Office of Exploration and Research are supporting the study intended to shed light on little-known natural resources of the deep ocean off the Southeast coast.

The research is organized through the National Oceanographic Partnership Program, or NOPP, with TDI-Brooks International Inc., as the prime contractor for BOEM, and scientists from USGS and seven academic institutions: Temple University, the University of Georgia, Nova Southeastern University, Florida State University, Harvey Mudd College, the University of New Hampshire and the Royal Netherlands Institute of Sea Research.

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The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.