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Contact: Kent Laborde
NOAA News Releases 2003
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New England students have an opportunity to name the newest ship to be commissioned in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) fleet as part of the “Name NOAA’s New Ship” contest, which begins Oct. 15.

The contest is open to all students in kindergarten through 12th grade in public and private schools in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, and was created to encourage interest in scientific studies, particularly oceanic and fisheries-related issues.

The name selected through the contest will be given to NOAA’s new 208-foot fisheries survey vessel, currently known as FSV #2. With its home port at Woods Hole, Mass., this vessel will directly support NOAA Fisheries in its primary goals of rebuilding and maintaining sustainable fisheries, promoting the recovery of protected species and protecting and maintaining the health of coastal marine habitats.

“This is an exciting opportunity for students to learn more about the environment, and make their mark in history,” said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “We hope that everyone who participates learns more about the biology of fisheries, as well as their importance and their impact on local, regional and national economies.”

Students will research one name of their choosing for the ship and work on a project to support the selection of that name. They are to work in teams of at least four students, with no maximum number on a team. Projects will be judged on imagination and creativity, evidence of educational value, and ability to incorporate a variety of academic disciplines.

“Students will have fun while learning about their local living marine resources, coastal ecosystems, oceanography, and history,” Lautenbacher said. “At the same time they will be helping NOAA achieve one of its educational goals: to bring to America’s students a greater appreciation and understanding of the environment that sustains us all. We hope to create a new generation of stewards who will watch over and protect our precious natural resources for generations to come.”

NOAA is home to one of the nation's seven uniformed services, the NOAA Corps, which operates the 17 ships and five aircraft in NOAA’s fleet for scientific purposes.

NOAA ships are named for types of mission, environmental phenomena, myths or traditions, geographical features or NOAA ships that have been decommissioned.

Members of the team whose entry is selected will be invited to the ship’s commissioning ceremony and a tour of one of NOAA’s research and educational facilities in New England which include laboratories, National Marine Reserves and a National Marine Sanctuary. The school of the team with the selected entry will be given a memento of the ship bearing the new name. Additionally, the school will receive a visit from the NOAA administrator and a NOAA Corps officer, who will address environmental stewardship and the role they can play as individuals in protecting the ecosystems.

Deadline for submission of entry packets is January 31, and the results will be announced in May 2004. For more information on the contest, please visit

NOAA Fisheries is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation’s living marine resources through scientific research, management, enforcement, and the conservation of marine mammals and other protected marine species and their habitat. To learn more about NOAA Fisheries, please visit

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources. To learn more about NOAA, please visit