Photo: RV Falkor; Photo: SOI

SOI and NOAA to boost public understanding of the ocean

Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI) will formalize and expand its longstanding partnership with NOAA’s Office of Exploration and Research.

The partnership aims to explore, characterize and map the deep ocean and boost public understanding of the global ocean.

The memorandum of agreement with NOAA will expand the US ability to explore, map the seafloor and share the discoveries.

SOI executive director, Jyotika Virmani, said:

“This partnership could support not only national objectives, but also global ocean initiatives as well, including the Nippon Foundation GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project to map the entire seabed by 2030 and the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.”

Since 2013, SOI’s RV Falkor has supported research expeditions and partnered with NOAA on mapping and data collection.

These projects delivered jointly-created maps as well as public ship tours, education campaigns and live broadcasts from the seafloor.

Wendy Schmidt, co-founder of Schmidt Ocean Institute, stated:

“The ocean has been under attack for decades and we don’t want to miss our last opportunities to turn this around.”

“We need to work together—across philanthropy, government and academia—to advance scientific discovery and educate the public about our essential dependence on a healthy global ocean.”

Retired Navy Rear Adm. Tim Gallaudet, assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and deputy NOAA administrator, said:

“We are living through a technological revolution that has opened new opportunities to more comprehensively understand the largely unknown ocean.”

“To take advantage of this, NOAA is building and strengthening partnerships such as the one with Schmidt Ocean Institute.

“It will help accelerate our mission to explore, characterize and map the United States Exclusive Economic Zone.

“It will also promote marine protection, and unlock the potential of valuable resources to power the American Blue Economy.”

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