NOAA’s 2024 hydrographic survey season is underway

An image of survey vessel operating near Pago Pago Harbor, American Samoa.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 2024 hydrographic survey season is ramping up and will be in full swing before too long. For the past few months, NOAA hydrographic survey ships, navigation response teams, and contractors have been diligently preparing for the upcoming field season. The ships and survey vessels collect bathymetric data to support nautical charting, modeling, and research, but also collect other environmental data to support a variety of ecosystem sciences. NOAA considers hydrographic survey requests from stakeholders such as marine pilots, local port authorities, the Coast Guard, and the boating community, and also considers other hydrographic and NOAA science priorities in determining where to survey and when. Visit our “living” ArcGIS StoryMap to find out more about our mapping projects and if a hydrographic vessel will be in your area this year!

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Planned data collection for Southern Alaska highlights agency partnership

Integrated Ocean and Coastal Mapping (IOCM) is the practice of planning, acquiring, integrating, and sharing ocean and coastal data and related products so that people who need the data can find it and use it easily. NOAA’s IOCM program also aims to make the most of limited resources, with a goal to map once, use many times. The IOCM program is happy to share that the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and NOAA have entered into a cost-sharing agreement to conduct mapping activities off Kodiak Island, Alaska in support of Seascape Alaska, a regional mapping campaign. This multiyear study is funded primarily by the USGS on the survey vessel, NOAA Ship Fairweather. NOAA’s Coast Survey is also providing project management, environmental compliance evaluation, data acquisition and processing, and quality assurance. The data will be archived at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, so that other users can access as well.

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Naming Brennan Reef, a previously uncharted pinnacle in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary

Brennan Reef, shown via shaded relief on the National Centers for Environmental Information bathymetric data viewer.

NOAA Corps Rear Adm. Richard T. “Rick” Brennan, recent director of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, was deeply dedicated to NOAA’s mission and was an integral part of building connections across NOAA programs to benefit coastal communities around the United States. One example of Rick’s leadership was the Southern California Seafloor Mapping Initiative, a partnership between Coast Survey, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Among many important accomplishments of this coordinated mapping effort was the survey of a previously uncharted reef in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Through legislative action led by U.S. Congressman Salud Carbajal of California’s 24th District, this reef has been officially designated as “Brennan Reef.”

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