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Press Releases

June 19, 2009

Shannon Ricles

David Hall

NOAA and Partners to Conduct Survey Work
on the USS Monitor

NOAA will participate in a research expedition June 21-28 to conduct survey work and to gather up-to-date data on the current condition of the USS Monitor.

During the expedition, divers will survey and photograph visible sections of the Monitor using non-invasive techniques, including high-resolution digital still and video imagery. In a collaboration with Deep Explorers and Rutgers University’s Institute of Marine and Coastal Science (IMCS), an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) with side-scan sonar will be used to conduct surveys of non-native marine life and water quality. These surveys will be the first of their kind to be conducted over the Monitor and surrounding area.

“This expedition will be invaluable to the Monitor,” said David W. Alberg, superintendent of USS Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. “The information collected during this expedition will be crucial to our efforts to continue preservation of this historic shipwreck.”

The expedition is supported through contributions of time, equipment and other support by various individuals and corporations, including Rutgers IMCS, Aqualung USA, Silent Diving Systems, Deep Outdoors, TMBA Broadcast Animation, O.C. Diver, Margie II, Sartek Ind, Sony XDCAM, Sony HDV, and Fujinon Optics.

To learn more about the expedition and to read daily mission logs, click here.

The USS Monitor is located in 230 feet of water 16 miles off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, where the ship sank on a stormy New Year’s Eve in 1862. In an effort to protect the nation’s most famous ironclad, the shipwreck was designated the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary on January 30, 1975. In the late 1990’s through 2002, several iconic Monitor artifacts were recovered and are being conserved at The Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Va.

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