The NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) is soliciting ocean exploration proposals to support projects that provide data and information that may inform ocean-related segments of the U.S. economy through mapping, characterization, and exploration of the deep seafloor and water column of the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) as well as marine cultural heritage in U.S. waters. Proposals are being requested on the following three topics:
1. OCEAN EXPLORATION. Ocean exploration to inform management, sustainable use, and conservation of marine resources in poorly explored deep ocean areas of the U.S. EEZ. Areas proposed for exploration and/or initial characterization must be at a minimum water depth of 200 m or more.
2. MARINE ARCHAEOLOGY. Discovery and characterization of underwater cultural heritage to inform decisions on preservation and seabed use, and to identify sources of potential environmental impacts. Marine archaeology proposals can be conducted in any water depth within the U.S. EEZ.
3. TECHNOLOGY. Application of new or novel use of existing ocean technologies or innovative methods that increase the scope and efficiency of acquiring ocean exploration data and improve usability of and access to ocean exploration data. Proposed technologies must be applicable to water depths of 200 m or greater, though testing in shallower water or lab-based test facilities will be supported. Technology testing may occur outside of U.S. waters.