In this video message, NOS Assistant Administrator Nicole LeBoeuf shares the incredible work that was accomplished during the RICHARD (Rainier Integrates Charting, Hydrography, and Reef Demographics) cruise on the NOAA Ship Rainier in the Mariana Islands in the Pacific Ocean. (Video Transcript)
Nicole R. LeBoeuf
Ocean Services and Coastal Zone Management
National Ocean Service
Hello, I'm Nicole LeBoeuf, Assistant Administrator for NOAA's National Ocean Service. This spring and summer, NOAA staff and scientists sailed to the Mariana Islands in the Pacific Ocean aboard the NOAA Ship Rainier to conduct crucial ocean mapping and coral reef surveys. The cruise is dedicated to, and in honor of, the late Admiral Richard Brennan, former Director of the Office of Coast Survey and a good friend of mine. Admiral Brennan was the greatest champion of this mission, and this cruise would not have been possible without his vision and leadership. As such, the mission's official name, RICHARD, commemorates Admiral Brennan and his contributions. RICHARD stands for Rainier Integrates Charting, Hydrography, and Reef Demographics — a name that reflects how much the crews set out to accomplish. This exciting mission gathered information on corals, fish, and seawater in remote Pacific ecosystems, and using state-of-the-art technology, scanned the ocean floor to create seamless maps of the seafloor. The ship collected data from areas that, in some cases, had not been surveyed in over 80 years, if ever! The cruise produced high-quality data, products, and tools that benefit many applications.
These include habitat conservation, tsunami modeling, marine resource management, and even national security. This was a first-of-its-kind, joint mission between NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program, Office of Coast Survey, Ocean Acidification Program, and National Marine Fisheries Service.
I want to thank everyone at NOAA who contributed to the success of the RICHARD cruise.
The NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program was established in 2000 by the Coral Reef Conservation Act. Headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, the program is part of NOAA's Office for Coastal Management.