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May 7, 2007

Contact: Andrew Larkin
(757) 627-3823

David Hall
(301) 713-3066, ext. 191

‘Secrets of the Deep’ Exhibit on NOAA Marine Sanctuaries Makes Its Debut at Nauticus

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Nauticus today unveiled “Secrets of the Deep,” a new exhibit that explores NOAA’s role in protecting and managing national marine sanctuaries.

The centerpiece of this new exhibit features a mockup of the research submersible Clelia exploring the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. Museum visitors can enter the Clelia and use the submersible’s robotic arm to pick up and examine items simulating artifacts from the wreck of the famed Civil War ironclad USS Monitor. Visitors can also use a camera mounted on the sub to “document” the site and to zoom in on interesting artifacts.

“This exhibit will educate museum visitors about our National Marine Sanctuary System and the need to preserve and interpret our nation’s rich maritime heritage,” said Daniel J. Basta, director of the NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program. “NOAA is delighted to partner with Nauticus to make this educational exhibit available to visitors.”

The exhibit is designed to teach visitors about the practice and techniques of maritime archaeology and some of the tools that scientists use to explore the oceans. Secrets of the Deep focuses on the sanctuary program’s Maritime Heritage Program, whose purpose is to protect and preserve our nation’s submerged cultural heritage including shipwrecks like the Monitor. The exhibit contains several artifacts from the Monitor and highlights Maritime Heritage Program projects such as the search for the civil war submarine Alligator, and technical diving on pristine 19th century wrecks in Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Lake Huron.

Nauticus and NOAA also unveiled today “NOAA’s Legacy,” an exhibit that celebrates NOAA’s heritage through historic photographs, banners and simple hands-on interactive activities.

NOAA@Nauticus is a partnership between NOAA and Nauticus to promote scientific and environmental literacy and to inform the public about NOAA’s programs and activities. Nauticus is a maritime-themed science and education center in Norfolk, Va., that attracts more than 350,000 visitors a year with special programs and exhibits focused on the power of the sea. NOAA hosts an Education Resource Center at Nauticus and also maintains exhibits including “Science on a Sphere,” and other exhibits that interpret NOAA’s role in restoring the Chesapeake Bay, protecting national marine sanctuaries, and promoting safe maritime commerce.

The NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program seeks to increase the public awareness of America’s marine resources and maritime heritage by conducting scientific research, monitoring, exploration and educational programs. Today, the sanctuary program manages 13 national marine sanctuaries and one marine national monument that together encompass more than 150,000 square miles of America’s ocean and Great Lakes natural and cultural resources.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Commission of Fish and Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts, and protects.

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On the Web:


NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office:


NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program:









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