Monday, May 27, 2024

NOAA, Ocean Discovery League To Work Together On Advancing Low-Cost Deep Ocean Exploration


The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the nonprofit Ocean Discovery League recently signed a formal agreement to work together to accelerate deep-ocean exploration through the development of low-cost tools and technologies, such as deep-sea cameras, that give greater, more equitable access to broader public and scientific communities to explore the deep ocean.

ODL’s mission is to accelerate deep-ocean exploration by developing accessible systems to broaden the community of those who explore and understand the deep sea. The league is developing a strategic approach to expand the area of the seafloor explored, mapped and characterized while reducing expenses by creating lower-cost, easier-to-use tools and technology. These actions, along with a more targeted approach to selecting exploration locations, will expand deep ocean exploration to a broader community of explorers, focusing on those historically excluded from deep-sea research and exploration.

The new memorandum of understanding between NOAA and ODL creates a framework for cooperation and coordination to advance mutual goals that accelerate the pace and efficiency of ocean exploration, improving workforce capabilities within the ocean economy, as well as training, education and outreach focused on ocean exploration.

According to Jeremy Weirich, director of NOAA Ocean Exploration:

“This partnership with Ocean Discovery League will help us accelerate ocean exploration at a time when only a fraction of the ocean has been explored and allow us to expand access to careers available in this field for underserved communities. We are excited to team up with another dynamic partner who shares our mission to fully explore, map and characterize the ocean with an emphasis on exploring the U.S. territorial waters on our doorstep.”

While Katy Croff Bell, founder and president of ODL, added:

“The impact of equitable access to deep-ocean exploration will be explosive. By lowering the cost-prohibitive and logistical barriers, we will see an unprecedented acceleration in new ocean data gathered to help characterize the ocean for science-based decision-making worldwide and dramatically expand our understanding of the ocean’s biodiversity.”

You can check out the MOU here.

(Featured Image credit: Susan Poulton/Ocean Discovery League)

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.