Living Shipwrecks 3-D: Exploring North Carolina's World War II Heritage

September 2, 2020

Dr. Avery Paxton, Tane Casserley, and Dr. Chris Taylor

In honor and commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, researchers will discuss how NOAA is honoring that heritage both above and below the waves.

For the past decade, Monitor National Marine Sanctuary (MNMS) and National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) Beaufort Lab have been leading an effort off the coast of North Carolina to document shipwrecks from the Battle of the Atlantic that brought World War II to our shores. The research conducted by MNMS and NCCOS honors the sacrifices of our Allied seamen and the heroism of the U.S. Merchant Marine, as well as recognizing the role these nationally significant shipwrecks play in the region's health as habitat for marine ecosystems.

This presentation will highlight the advanced technologies that MNMS and NCCOS utilize, including acoustic surveys aboard the NOAA ship Nancy Foster, to document the shipwrecks and create acoustic fish visualizations of the surrounding marine life. Along with collecting critical data to interpret this naval battlefield, the project also demonstrates the significance of these shipwrecks as both ecological and historical wonders. This project is an example of NOAA offices collaborating to use their best assets to document the incredible maritime history and marine life off North Carolina's shores.