Jennifer Jencks | NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information
Dr. Vicki Ferrini | Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Brian Connon | Saildrone
Rafael Ponce | ESRI
Establishing truly coordinated movements for the global common good is one of the greatest legacies we can proudly pass on to the next generation.
The National Strategy for Ocean Mapping, Exploration, and Characterization the United States Exclusive Economic Zone (NOMEC Strategy) is an ambitious multi-decadal plan that will be a key tool in implementing the US vision for ocean science and technology. The Nippon Foundation - GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project is an international collaboration aspiring to map the global ocean by 2030. Both initiatives aim to bring together bathymetric data to produce definitive maps of the ocean floor that are publicly available for multiple uses. With only ~23% of the world ocean's seafloor mapped in the publicly available GEBCO grid, and 48% of U.S. waters mapped, coordination and data sharing will be key to achieving the ambitious goal of revealing the details of the seafloor. For example, bathymetric data coverage in the Gulf of Mexico region would nearly double if all known existing bathymetry data were made available.
The time has come for all of us – governments, international organizations, universities, non-governmental organizations, maritime industries (fishing boats, survey companies, shipping lines, oil and gas companies, cruise operators, submarine cable companies), and citizens - to support these mapping initiatives by:
- Consolidating and sharing pre-existing data
- Leveraging existing and emerging technologies to collect and disseminate bathymetric data
- Planning cruises to previously unmapped regions
- Helping to building a strong global community united in purpose