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a breaching humpback whale
Photo: Robert Schwemmer/NOAA

2020 Nautilus Expedition

left: e/v nautilus, center map of west coast of u.s. highlighting the expedition locations, right: a whale fall with marine life all over the whale bones
2020 Nautilus Map. Crdit: Ocean Exploration Trust

NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries partnered with Ocean Exploration Trust remotely aboard exploration vessel (E/V) Nautilus to seek out new discoveries in little known regions of the deep sea along the North American West Coast. As part of this expedition, from October 12-15, 2020, Nautilus explored Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and adjacent Santa Lucia Bank. Scientists on board Nautilus and on shore participating via telepresence conducted research that focuses on deep-sea coral habitats and an extensive aggregation of female octopuses in our national marine sanctuaries. Most of the world's deep ocean remains largely unexplored, leaving significant gaps in knowledge needed to manage and protect ocean resources and to understand and predict future change.

Learn about what scientists discovered during this expedition and follow future OET expeditions live at

The latest news from your national marine sanctuaries

News from our friends at Channel Islands National Park

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