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Windows to the deep 2019 : EX1903 Leg 2 (EX1903L2) cruise report, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic U.S Continental Margin, Port Canaveral, FL to Norfolk, VA (June 20 - July, 12 2019)
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    The deepwater areas offshore Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina are some of the least explored areas along the U.S. East Coast. In 2019, NOAA and partners conducted a two-part expedition to map and characterize this area to support priorities put forward by the deep-ocean science and resource management communities. The primary objective of the expedition was to survey deepwater areas offshore of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina in order to provide baseline information to support management and science needs. This two-part expedition used the ship’s deepwater mapping systems (Kongsberg EM302 multibeam sonar, Simrad EK60 and EK80 split-beam fisheries sonars, Knudsen 3260 chirp sub-bottom profiler sonar, and Teledyne Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler [ADCP]), NOAA’s two-body deepwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV), and a high-bandwidth satellite connection for real-time ship to shore communications. This cruise report details activities associated with the second leg of the Windows to the Deep 2019 expedition (EX1903L2). 19 ROV dives were conducted, ranging in depth from 298 to 3,490 meters (978-11,450 feet) to improve knowledge of unexplored areas within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to inform management needs for sensitive habitats, maritime heritage sites, and potential resources. EX1903L2 also mapped 14, 314 square kilometers of seafloor to extend bathymetric mapping coverage in the U.S. EEZ in support of Seabed 2030 and NOAA’s goal to map and characterize the U.S. EEZ. Data from this expedition will help to improve our understanding of the deep-ocean habitats of the U.S. continental margin and of the connections between communities throughout the Atlantic Basin.
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