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News from the Channel Islands

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Mike Boyle and Guy Cochrane have returned from a two-week cruise in the Santa Barbara Channel Islands area on the NOAA Ship MacArthur.

Boyle participated in night-time sidescan operations and collected approximately 70 mi2 of data from between Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands.

Cochrane participated in Deepworker-2000 submersible operations during the day. Guy made three dives to groundtruth the sidescan records in preparation for habitat mapping. Nineteen dives were made, including dives for Sylvia Earle and the other pilots in the Sustainable Seas contingent.

Dives were restricted to depths above 300 ft by limitations of the submersible and limitations put on the new pilots by the submersible contractors. Given these limitations, the dives were successful.

Next year, the new 2000-ft submersibles will be available and the pilots will be qualified to descend to greater depths. The only other factor that limits the usefulness of the submersibles is the accuracy of the tracking system. It is my hope that the Deepstar tracking system will perform better in deeper water.

Related Web Sites
Sustainable Seas Submersible Project
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Sustainable Seas Expeditions
NOAA/National Geographic

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Georges Bank Benthic Habitat

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