NOPP Sponsors Deep-water Hard Bottom Habitat Study
The National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP) has sponsored the funding of almost $9.4 million to CSA International to conduct an environmental and archaeological study on deepwater hard bottom habitats and shipwrecks in the mid-Atlantic.
Drs. Sandra Brooke, of the University of Oregon’s Institute of Marine Biology, and Steve W. Ross, of the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Center for Marine Science, will serve as co-principle investigators for the project. The project team includes 26 additional technical experts, taxonomists, and investigators.
Researchers will explore and examine selected habitats that are chosen based on their ability to refine and extend the understanding of the distribution and complexity of hard bottom communities. Additionally, surveys and site-specific studies will be conducted around archaeological artifacts such as shipwrecks to obtain the necessary information to avoid these artifacts if energy development were one day permitted in the area.
This research is a collaborative effort between the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).