Revealing America's National Marine Sanctuaries with NOAA

Image: Surveying the FIU's Aquaruis Reefbase in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary


We're excited today to be able to announce that the Catlin Seaview Survey is collaborating with the National Oceanographic and Atmostpheric Administration's (NOAA's) Office of National Marine Sanctuaries to record and reveal America's protected marine sanctuaries.


An ideal training environment

For the last week we've had a team based in Key Largo, in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS), where we have been training NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) scientists on the use of our SVII panoramic camera with a view to being able to record the local marine environment to a high scientific standard. The FKNMS is an incredibly interesting place to survey as it is already a leading site for reef restoration initiatives. The team has now created a baseline picture of the region which can be used to measure future changes in this highly protected area.


Some more highlights from our time in the Florida Keys:

- Our team were operating around the Florida International University's (FIU's) Aquarius Reefbase which was a facinating place for the team to photograph with our 360° cameras. View the first of these panoramas here.


- The Coral Restoration Foundation nursery near Key Largo provided another interesting site to survey with the SVII camera. You can swim amongst the Foundation's nursery here.


- The ONMS scientists captured some great 360° imagery of a local underwater landmark - a bronze sculpture covered in corals called "Christ of the Abyss". Interact with the imagery here.


- We were joined in the field by world-renowned marine conservationist and ex-NOAA chief scientist Sylvia Earle who was excited to be able to pilot the SVII camera during our collaboration.


Like all of the data captured by the Catlin Seaview Survey team, the survey work being completed by the NOAA ONMS scientists will eventually be added to the Catlin Global Reef Record where it can be accessed by anyone who wants to remotely study these important sites.