Thursday, June 30

Explore the Monitor, and More, with NOAA

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Now you can explore the remains of the Civil War ironclad Monitor, built for the Union Navy, and lots of other underwater wrecks and reefs, courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (The Monitor‘s bow, resting on the North Carolina seafloor, is pictured above.)  Here’s NOAA’s announcement:

Beginning May 15, the public can join NOAA scientists and partner researchers as they explore the shipwreck of the USS Monitor, natural reefs and the maritime cultural landscape off the North Carolina coast.

The two week mission — titled “Valor in the Atlantic” — will use state-of-the-art, remotely-piloted submersibles and other technologies to explore notable sites surrounding America’s first National Marine Sanctuary. The Global Foundation for Ocean Explorationoffsite link is providing much of the technology for the mission, which will be livestreamed to the publicoffsite link from NOAA Ship Nancy Foster.

“This is the first in-depth survey of both the historic and ecological habitat of the USS Monitor since NOAA and the U.S. Navy recovered the Civil War vessel’s iconic gun turret in 2002,” said Nicole LeBoeuf, director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service. “The waters off North Carolina hold incredible historic and ecological value, and today’s technologies offer exciting new ways to participate in exploration and scientific discovery.”

NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science will analyze the imagery from the expedition to gain a better understanding of how shipwrecks serve as habitats that support marine life, while the North Carolina Office of State  Archaeology will look for historical insights.

“Our team is excited to once again bring a telepresence capability to a NOAA vessel,” said Melissa Ryan, Vice President of the Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration. “It is no easy feat, and takes a team of very talented engineers to be able to share this upcoming mission with the world in real time.”

Collaborating with dozens of museums, aquariums, educators, and other organizations, the “Valor in the Atlantic” mission broadcast will showcase the nationally significant underwater sites to students, educators, scientists and the public, helping to better understand our maritime heritage and bring the wonders of our ocean treasures to life.

The mission will run May 15 through May 25, 2022. Join the livestream feed here.

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