NOAA and partners to survey marine life at USS Monitor wreck site

Aug 07, 2009

NOAA will participate in a private research expedition to study marine life living on and around the wreck of the USS Monitor. The August 2-8 expedition is the first in the history of Monitor National Marine Sanctuary devoted specifically to understanding how the wreck contributes to the health of underwater creatures and plants living in sanctuary waters.

Using non-invasive techniques, divers will conduct an inventory of various species of , crustaceans, mollusks, jellyfish, corals, and sponges. The survey also will examine the population of lionfish on the wreck to determine if this fierce predator is harming the site's natural ecosystem.

"The information collected during this expedition will help us to better understand the role the historic shipwreck has played as an artificial reef and may be important to our efforts to continue preservation of the USS Monitor," said David W. Alberg, superintendent of USS Monitor National Marine Sanctuary.

The biological research will be conducted by dive teams from the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, the Outer Banks Dive Center, Explorer Charters, and Associated Design. The data collected will be analyzed by the Smithsonian Institution's Marine Botany Department.

"It is vital that we can better understand the wreck as a reef as we move forward in determining how best to manage the Monitor sanctuary," said Jeff Johnston, historian for Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. "The collaboration of private citizens and a state and federal agency working together to gain a better understanding of one of America's most significant ships is a great story in itself."

The USS Monitor is located in 240 feet of water 16 miles south of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, where the ship sank on a stormy New Year's Eve in 1862. In an effort to protect the nation's most famous ironclad, the shipwreck was designated Monitor National Marine Sanctuary in January 1975. In the late 1990's through 2002, several iconic Monitor artifacts were recovered and are being conserved at The Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Va.

Source: NOAA Headquarters (news : web)

Explore further: Drought may take toll on Congo rainforest, study finds

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

FDA issued advisory to Gulf seafood firms

Feb 05, 2008

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an advisory to seafood processors concerning recent illnesses linked to fish carrying the ciguatera toxin.

Students locate Civil War ship

Jun 24, 2005

Students at East Carolina University have located the remains of a U.S. warship that tried to wrest control of the Roanoke River from the Confederacy.

Recommended for you

Madagascar to drain crude from stricken tanker

8 hours ago

Madagascar will during the weekend pump crude from a tanker that ran aground a week ago off its picturesque northern coast to prevent a spill, maritime authorities said Thursday.

Study links California drought to global warming

10 hours ago

While researchers have sometimes connected weather extremes to man-made global warming, usually it is not done in real time. Now a study is asserting a link between climate change and both the intensifying California drought ...

Untangling Brazil's controversial new forest code

11 hours ago

Approved in 2012, Brazil's new Forest Code has few admirers. Agricultural interests argue that it threatens the livelihoods of farmers. Environmentalists counter that it imperils millions of hectares of forest, ...

China toughens environment law to target polluters

11 hours ago

China on Thursday passed the first amendment to its environment protection law in 25 years, imposing tougher penalties on polluters after the government called for a "war" on pollution.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

omatumr
1 / 5 (1) Aug 08, 2009
AT LEAST ITS HARMLESS

This sounds like a harmless way to occupy the time of NOAA scientists who might otherwise be beating the drums of climate disaster or some other attention-grabbing project that might persuade Congress to give more money to NOAA.

Keep up the good work!

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
http://www.omatumr.com

More news stories

Untangling Brazil's controversial new forest code

Approved in 2012, Brazil's new Forest Code has few admirers. Agricultural interests argue that it threatens the livelihoods of farmers. Environmentalists counter that it imperils millions of hectares of forest, ...

Study links California drought to global warming

While researchers have sometimes connected weather extremes to man-made global warming, usually it is not done in real time. Now a study is asserting a link between climate change and both the intensifying California drought ...

Genetic code of the deadly tsetse fly unraveled

Mining the genome of the disease-transmitting tsetse fly, researchers have revealed the genetic adaptions that allow it to have such unique biology and transmit disease to both humans and animals.