While our coverage so far has focused on the subsurface monitoring efforts in the Gulf of Mexico, we’re also still going about our everyday science business. The NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown is currently underway to discover and characterize deep-water coral communities in the Gulf of Mexico.
This is the fourth cruise in a four-year project to conduct a variety of experiments and analyses that will help us to predict where other communities will be found, and to understand why we find them where we do. This project is sponsored by the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement, a division of the Department of the Interior. The scientists involved come from several universities, including Florida State, Louisiana State, Temple and Penn State, as well as from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the US Geological Survey.
You can follow this mission at Lophelia II 2010: Oil Seeps and Deep Reefs