Oceana Launches Ocean Expedition off Southern Oregon Coast
Charleston, OR. Beginning June 20, 2011 Oceana will launch the second leg of a three leg scientific expedition exploring Important Ecological Areas (IEAs) in the Pacific Ocean using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and high definition video cameras. The West Coast expedition commenced June 13th in Monterey Bay, California, and will conclude on July 2nd off the Olympic Coast of Washington State.
Home to gray whales, salmon, puffins, and life giving swarms of krill, the Pacific Ocean off southern Oregon is a diverse and productive part of the California Current ecosystem. Due to its remote location and often rugged weather, very few of the reefs and canyons in this region have been documented with underwater cameras. Using a ROV equipped with a high definition video camera and the ability to dive to depth of 1,000 feet, Oceana researchers will document the amazing biodiversity and vivid colors of this underwater ecosystem. The expedition goal is to identify and catalog seafloor habitats in each of these three bioregions to inform management decisions on existing and future ocean protection efforts, and educate the public about the splendor and importance of the ocean.
The Oregon portion of the expedition will include areas previously nominated for Marine Protected Area status in Oregon’s territorial sea and in federal waters. Data, still images, and video footage will be collected at a range of depths and habitat types around Cape Arago, Rogue Canyon, Orford Reef and Mack Reef.
The expedition is an integral step in Oceana’s efforts to identify and protect Important Ecological Areas, which are ocean hotspots critical to maintaining ecosystem health. Important Ecological Areas off the West Coast include places like migration routes, sensitive seafloor habitats, breeding and spawning areas, nursery areas for young fish and wildlife, and foraging areas.
Video and still images will be available on Oceana Facebook, our website (www.oceana.org – click on ‘Our Work’ then ‘Oceana on the Water’ then ‘Pacific Hotspots’) and will be added to Google Earth.
High definition video footage and images will be available for interested media.
What: Oceana Important Ecological Areas Expedition
When: June 20-24, 2011
Where: Cape Arago, Rogue Canyon, Orford Reef and Mack Reef, departing from Charleston,
Oceana is the largest international advocacy group working solely to protect the world’s oceans. Oceana wins policy victories for the oceans using science-based campaigns. Since 2001, we have protected over 1.2 million square miles of ocean and innumerable sea turtles, sharks, dolphins and other sea creatures. More than 500,000 supporters have already joined Oceana. Global in scope, Oceana has offices in North, South and Central America and Europe. To learn more, please visit www.oceana.org.