In this video message, Rear Adm. Benjamin Evans, director, Office of Coast Survey, and John Armor, director, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, are proud to share with you a video message about how the recent mapping missions in the Great Lakes supports critical updates to NOAA’s nautical charts, and provides modern data to the scientific and benthic mapping communities. (Video Transcript)
This past spring and summer, Office of Coast Survey (OCS) and Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO) hydrographers completed multiple lakebed mapping missions in the Great Lakes aboard the NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson,along with OCS navigation response teams and contract partners. We are proud to share with you a video message about how this important work supports critical updates to NOAA’s nautical charts, and provides modern data to the scientific and benthic mapping communities.
Surveys were conducted in the vicinity of Cleveland, Ohio, and the Detroit River, as well as in the newly designated Wisconsin Shipwreck Coast National Marine Sanctuary and Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The Great Lakes system is economically important and ecologically sensitive, and is one of the largest concentrations of fresh water on the Earth. Modern survey data is critical to help protect this region and identify hazards.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of this mission. We look forward to sharing the survey data with you!
RDML EVANS: Throughout the spring and summer, NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey and National Ocean Service conducted multiple hydrographic mapping missions in the Great Lakes aboard the NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson, along with Coast Survey’s navigation response team and contract partners. Although NOAA has a significant presence in the Great Lakes, this was the first time a NOAA hydrographic ship was deployed to the region since the early 1990s.
Modern data is critically important to identify hazards and to protect economically important and ecologically sensitive regions, such as the Great Lakes. These missions successfully provided modern data to the scientific and benthic mapping communities as well as contributed to updating marine navigation products and services.
JOHN ARMOR: Surveys were also conducted in Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary as well as the newly designated Wisconsin Shipwreck Coast National Marine Sanctuary. These missions generated high-quality data benefiting sanctuary management by providing a better understanding of the cultural and natural features present in these underwater parks.
The data collected will update navigational charts and create habitat maps and related products in cooperation with NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Sciences and other partners.
These new products will provide resource managers, scientists, and the public with an unprecedented understanding of the lakebed within the sanctuaries.
RDML EVANS: The team aboard the Thomas Jefferson also conducted operational testing of an uncrewed surface vehicle.
This was a major step towards integrating uncrewed survey platforms in our fleet, which will amplify our existing capabilities by increasing productivity, efficiency, and safety, especially in remote or extreme environments.
Overall, NOAA’s 2022 Great Lakes hydrographic surveying campaign was a tremendous success, resulting in 1,380 square nautical miles of Lake Michigan, Huron, and Erie being surveyed!
We appreciate the efforts and contributions of everyone who supported this important work. And a special thanks to NOAA's Office of Marine and Aviation Operations and the NOAA Corps officers and mariners onboard that made this mission possible. Thank you.
Rear Adm. Benjamin Evans
Director, Office of Coast Survey
Director, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries