NOAA 99-043
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Colleen Angeles
6/8/99

NOW YOU CAN "SURF" TO THE DEPTHS OF THE OCEAN

Students and teachers, parents and children can now surf the virtual seas to depths of 2,000 feet to study diverse and fascinating marine life, with the launching of two new Web sites on the Sustainable Seas Expeditions that explore ocean resources at America's 12 national marine sanctuaries.

The Web sites are www.sustainableseas.noaa.gov and www.sanctuaries.nos.noaa.gov

Sustainable Seas Expeditions is being conducted by the National Geographic Society and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Sanctuary Program.

"The Sustainable Seas Expeditions Web site and its companion, the National Marine Sanctuaries Web site, together provide the American public with pages of rich and varied content about the exploration and conservation of the ocean," said Tom Lapointe, NOAA's project director for the new Web sites.

Throughout the coming year, Sustainable Seas Expeditions' trained aquanauts will pilot DeepWorker 2000, a one-person submersible capable of going to depths of 2,000 feet to photodocument the natural history of each sanctuary's plants and animals. What they discover, and record in daily mission logs, will help the sanctuaries to build the first permanent marine monitoring network in the marine sanctuaries and to educate the public on the many wonders within these protected areas. The aquanauts' findings will be posted on the Web sites.

Along with daily mission logs, this Sustainable Seas Expeditions Web site offers a calendar of scheduled Web chats and Student Summits, facts about the research investigations and the scientists who carry them out, a closer look at the innovative technology used, detailed maps and a photo gallery of the habitats and the inhabitants unique to each site.

Sustainable Seas Expeditions education pages will feature the results from some of the major educational initiatives of the expeditions and offer opportunities for students and educators to share in its discoveries.

The Sustainable Seas Expeditions will highlight sanctuary conservation efforts as it explores our 12 national marine sanctuaries. More comprehensive, accessible information about marine sanctuaries may be found on the National Marine Sanctuaries Web site at: www.sanctuaries.nos.noaa.gov/

The Web site contains a history and timeline of the National Marine Sanctuaries program, information about designation and legislation, a monthly news page, a national calendar, and stories about the people and creatures who live, work and play in the national marine sanctuaries.

Sustainable Seas Expeditions, a five-year project of ocean exploration and conservation in the sanctuaries, is headed by Dr. Sylvia Earle, world-renowned ocean scientist and National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence, and former NOAA marine sanctuary program director Francesca Cava. The Expeditions, made possible by an initial $5 million grant from the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, join in partnership the National Geographic Society and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.