Little is known about the natural resources of the deep sea off the southeast coast of the United States from Virginia to Georgia. Deep Search 2018 was created to learn more about deep-sea ecosystems. The project, consisting of scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the US Geological Survey, is nearing the end of its 15-day journey aboard the research vessel Atlantis . 19659003] A pair of dives in a dive boat called Alvin confirmed on Thursday the existence of the coral reef, and based on observations, the researchers estimate that the reef is at least 85 miles long.
Cordes said the ecosystem is different than anything he has seen, with "mountains" of coral.
Dr. Sandra Brooke, a coral ecologist among the research teams that dived near the site, described blooming white Lophelia corals covering the seabed in all directions, and told HuffPost it was a surprise to see so many living deep-sea corals far from the shore Find . Coral reefs form more easily near the surface of the water, where the sun can nourish the algae.
That's how it exists. What now?
A coral reef is a large community of living organisms that live in one place. Many fish and marine animals choose to spawn here because the protected environment of the reef means that their eggs are safe from predators.
According to environmental organization Oceana, more than 140 communities have publicly opposed offshore drilling in the Atlantic. Environmental groups call the plan dirty and dangerous.
A spokeswoman for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said she is funding this type of research to identify resources that need to be protected if future offshore energy activities and new information from this reef study could be found at the sublease or letting [oil and gas] decisions be useful, for example, in sensitive habitats that are central to this study. "
Cordes also told HuffPost that this coral habitat needs to be protected from oil and gas development, and believes that this is crucial to the productivity of regional fisheries.
Interior Minister Ryan Zinke has repeatedly stated in January that offshore leases come the state of security.