A multi-year ocean and coastal mapping project, Hydropalooza, is underway in Kachemak Bay--one of south central Alaska’s busiest, most ecologically diverse, and visually stunning estuaries.
Teams of scientists on board the NOAA survey vessels Fairweather and Rainier spent part of the summer mapping the sea floor of Kachemak Bay to locate sunken ships, sediment, boulders, lost crab pots, and other debris, that will be used to update navigational tools for mariners.
“The unique geologic features and obstructions found in Kachemak Bay are being used to update NOAA’s nautical charts,” said CDR Doug Baird, commanding officer of the NOAA Survey Vessel Fairweather. “The nation’s commercial shipping industry relies on up-to-date NOAA nautical charts to navigate vessels into U.S. ports and waterways.” The data collected by the ships will also be used for habitat characterization and fisheries management.
The data collected by the ships this August is now being processed.