Seafloor Mapping Begins off Maine
July 9, 2012
Maine Public Broadcasting: This week [July 2, 2012], for the first time, a team of scientists is mapping the ocean floor 15 miles off the coast of Maine. Using sophisticated technology, the scientists from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Departments of Conservation and Marine Resources, and the University of Maine hope to get data that can aid with wind development, aquaculture and conservation. The collaborative effort also includes researchers looking into bird, bat and marine animal activity.
Sea-floor mapping has been done sporadically along the Maine coast before, but never this far offshore and never at these depths: up to 300’, or the equivalent of a 30-story building.
“And this ship is well suited for that,” says EPA Chief Scientist Matthew Liebman. “Because we have a piece of equipment called the Sidescan Sonar, which takes pictures or images using sound of the sea floor.”
Liebman will be overseeing all the work. He’s standing on the upper deck of the Bold, the EPA’s only ocean and coastal monitoring vessel. It’s an impressive looking ship, 224’-long and equipped with state-of-the-art sampling, mapping and analysis equipment.