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The NOWRAMP Expeditions

During Sep-Oct 2000, two research vessels, the Rapture and the NOAA Ship Townsend Cromwell, provided logistical support for the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program (NOWRAMP) expedition to assess the condition and health of the remote coral reef ecosystems of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The 50 scientists and educators on board spent 57 ship days collecting data from 11 islands, shoals, and atolls, crossing over 2400 miles of ocean. The collaborative effort involved all key federal and state management agencies (USFWS, NOS, NMFS,), and numerous other agencies.

A second multi-agency expedition to the NWHI was completed in October 2001 aboard the Townsend Cromwell and American Islander. Land-based GPS ground control monuments were established, water-based benthic habitat characterizations were conducted, shallow-water bathymetric data gathering operations were conducted, feature photo-identification activities were conducted, and gravimetric measurements were gathered.

Work done at Kure included (see sources):

• 30 hours of GPS data at a new station on Green Island
• GPS data at five (12) Photo ID locations on Green Island
• GPS data on two (2) North-South and two (2) East-West orientation lines
• Bathymetry data gathering on all predetermined positions except those outside reef crest
• Water level point on Green Island
• Gravity data at five (5) sites on Green Island
• Benthic habitat data at 130 water stations.

Rapture (178 ft.):
Townsend Cromwell (163 ft):
2001 Expedition:

The 2004 NWHICRER Hi'ialakai Expedition

The newly commissioned National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research vessel Hi'ialakai completed its first mission with a successful, comprehensive, five-week survey of marine ecosystems in the waters of the remote Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve (NWHICRER). NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The research cruise, which began Sept. 13, 2004, was Hi'ialakai's maiden voyage. This was a collaborative, multi-agency venture involving NOAA's National Ocean Service, National Marine Sanctuary Program, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve, NOAA Fisheries, Bishop Museum, the State of Hawaii and the University of Hawaii. During the 35-day cruise, 18 researchers conducted assessments, monitoring and mapping operations throughout the waters and reefs within the reserve as well as in adjacent waters managed by the State of Hawaii and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Researchers collected data on the abundance and diversity of fishes, algae, corals and other invertebrates on these reefs, while remote tethered camera arrays recorded habitat types in deeper waters.

Copyright © 2011 Robert W. Schmieder All rights reserved. Last update: Tuesday, March 08, 2011