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The Hunt for the Alligator

Hunt for the Alligator Expedition Log for Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2005

By Michael Overfield
Chief Scientist/Archaeologist
NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary Program

After a month of intensive planning, the 2005 Hunt for the Alligator is about to get under way.  The expedition team is packing up and preparing to assemble in Ocracoke, North Carolina, “home base” for this year’s search.  We very much look forward to returning to the community that welcomed us so warmly last year.

The team has been keeping a close eye on the weather, which caused last year’s mission to be cut short. Working out here in the Atlantic, the scene of many fierce storms, including the one in which the Alligator was lost, we are acutely aware of the power of nature. As we watch weather systems that may affect our survey and keep our NOAA All Hazards Radios handy, we are reminded of the tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico. Our hearts go out to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. NOAA and the U.S. Navy are continuing to mobilize resources to assist rescuers and aid those in need. A member of our own survey crew left yesterday to assist in the Gulf region.

With the survey design in place, remote sensing equipment being mobilized, and science and education teams gearing up, we look forward to the next step in this year’s effort….the Hunt for the Alligator!