Platforms for Collaboration

To understand the conditions within the National Marine Sanctuary System, researchers have to get on the water. That's where the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries' Small Boat Program comes in. More than 45 vessels support marine archaeology, seafloor mapping, oceanographic sampling, damage assessment, education and outreach, and other activities. These boats get sanctuary staff into the field and ensure that partners can conduct research in sanctuaries, too – more than 100 universities, non-profit organizations, and government agencies rely on the boats of the National Marine Sanctuary System.

boat deploying an auv

R/V Fulmar, Monterey Bay NMS. Photo: Robert Schwemmer/NOAA

view of the deck of a boat with buoys aboard

R/V Agassiz, Florida Keys NMS. Photo: Matt McIntosh/NOAA

divers preparing to dive off a boat

R/V Manumā, NMS of American Samoa. Photo: Matt McIntosh/NOAA

boat on the move

R/V Malolo, Papahānaumokuākea MNM. Photo: J. Leonard/NOAA

above the water a boat and below a whale is swimming

R/V Koholā, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale NMS. Photo: Ed Lyman/NOAA, under NOAA permit #14682