NOAA
Office of Coast Survey
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce


January 17, 2018


Hello Coast Survey,

This year, you will hear a lot about Seabed 2030, a global mapping initiative that was launched by GEBCO (under the International Hydrographic Organization and Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission) and the Nippon Foundation in the summer of 2017. The goal of the program is to produce a complete, high-resolution bathymetric map of the world’s seabed from the coasts to the deepest trenches by the year 2030. With the need for bathymetric data and technological advances we have seen in the last decade, I believe this goal will be accomplished. I am also excited about the opportunity to engage with other maritime nations in a common cause. There are three primary pillars of this project that Coast Survey already actively participates in:

  • Data discovery - Unearthing existing bathymetric data not already found in national archives such as NOAA’s Multibeam Bathymetry Database.
  • Data sharing - Creating high resolution maps of the seafloor to share with the public.
  • Finding and filling data gaps - Identifying and filling in gaps where no data is available. This is perhaps the most captivating part of the project, as we work to explore and survey unknown and unmapped ocean places.

We, and NOAA as a whole, are committed to supporting this project. I would like to thank Ashley Chappell, Integrated Ocean and Coastal Mapping (IOCM) program coordinator, and Cmdr. Dan Simon, Ocean and Atmospheric Research, for their work thus far in coordinating efforts through IOCM. I will be presenting Seabed 2030 to the NOAA Ocean and Coastal Council this week and at the Oceanology International 2018 conference in March. Also, keep a lookout for Coast Survey’s article on Seabed 2030 in an upcoming issue of Hydro International.


Rear Admiral Shepard M. Smith
Rear Admiral Shepard M. Smith