2016 Expedition Overview

NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research  August 22 - Sept. 5th, 2016

This week, NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, working with several public and private partners, will use the manned submersibles and dive teams to inspect the shipwrecks and collect data that will be used to visualize and recreate an underwater battlefield that has remained undisturbed for 74 years.

 The 2016 Battle of the Atlantic Expedition is scheduled to take place from August 22 to September 6, and builds on previous work by NOAA and its partners to document nationally significant shipwrecks in the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” off North Carolina’s Outer Banks. NOAA is currently considering an expansion of Monitor National Marine Sanctuary’s boundaries to protect the Bluefields and U-576 as well as other historic shipwrecks off the North Carolina coast.

Project Baseline, a global conservation nonprofit, and its corporate sponsor GlobalSubDive are supplying a research vessel and two manned submersibles to visit the remains of two World War II ships that were involved in a convoy battle off the coast of North Carolina during the Battle of the Atlantic campaign. The ships, Bluefields and U-576, lie more than 30 miles off the coast of North Carolina outside Monitor National Marine Sanctuary.

The technical dive teams aboard Baseline Explorer are made up of volunteers from GUE’s 64-country network. Each diver is trained in globally standardized skill and safety protocols to ensure the unique exploration requirements of Bluefields, U-576, and nearby shipwrecks are met. The divers provide increased exploration options including customizable image, video, and sample collection and strong potential for wreck penetration. Where appropriate, the divers will team with submersibles to explore and document shipwrecks to depths of up to 425’, often staying underwater for up to 7 hours at a time.  
The documentation of U-576 and Bluefields is a pilot mission created in part to assess the utility and effectiveness of this collaboration for future missions in the United States’ 13 National Marine Sanctuaries and two Marine National Monuments. 
More information about this expedition and underwater images of the U-576 are available right here.
Stay tuned on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates through Sept. 5, 2016.
Media coverage of this mission:


Nekton July 14th - August 16th 2016 Bermuda

Project Baseline, a global conservation effort that invites divers and water lovers alike to systematically document marine and freshwater environments, is delivering valuable exploration assets to a multi-disciplinary alliance of the world’s leading ocean scientists, media organizations, business leaders, philanthropists, educators, and civil leaders under a newly formed research organization, Nekton.

Nekton’s first research program, launching on July 14, 2016 is creating a new standardized methodology for marine biologists to measure physical, chemical, and biological indicators to assess the function, health, and resilience of the deep ocean, earth’s least-explored, largest, and critically important ecosystem. The scientific findings will be released as part of the XL Catlin Deep Ocean Survey. The mission will focus on a long, depth transect down the Bermuda Rise and aims to be the longest marine transect in history.

After the mission: In 2017, Nekton released the achievements from the 2016 mission. View the Mission Report. View the mission achievements list.

A sampling of media coverage for this event:

Miami Waterkeeper and Project Baseline are teaming to host a two-day event, March 21-22, 2016 to increase understanding and awareness of coral reef conditions near Port Everglades. During the event, scuba and submersible divers will collect valuable baseline data from sections of the Florida Reef Tract just south of the Port Everglades shipping channel. Event highlights include special guest appearance on March 21st by renowned explorer and environmental advocate, Philippe Cousteau and an evening social aboard Baseline Explorer to close out the event, docked at Pier 66 in Fort Lauderdale, which is open to the public with food and wine sponsored in part by Whole Foods Market on March 22nd.

Related media for this event: 

April 7, 2016 UPDATE: read an event follow up in Miami Waterkeeper's newsletter right here - http://eepurl.com/bV8qer

Click Here for the May 2016 Port Miami and Port Everglades Dredging Update in the New York Times

A three day event designed to increase public awareness of impending damage to Florida’s barrier reefs due to dredging...

Posted by Project Baseline

on Thursday, March 17, 2016


Project Baseline has been at the forefront of increasing awareness of Florida reef decline as well as monitoring the health index for nearly 70 marine and freshwater environments world-wide since 2009. Watch as Project Baseline takes CNN underwater for special media coverage on Florida reefs - http://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2016/06/26/florida-dying-reefs-sanchez-nd.cnn