RHODE ISLAND’S QUONSET POINT/DAVISVILLE FACILITY BEING EVALUATED AS HOMEPORT FOR FIRST OCEAN EXPLORATION SHIP
19, 2007 — NOAA is evaluating Quonset
Point/Davisville, R.I., as the future homeport of the Okeanos
Explorer—the nation’s first federal ship dedicated solely
to ocean exploration—as part of an environmental assessment to
be completed this spring. (Click NOAA image for larger view
of the NOAA Ship Kai’imimoana. The Okeanos Explorer, which is
being converted, is similar to the Ka’imimoana but will have different
equipment and deck configuration. Click
here for high resolution version. Please credit “NOAA.”)
Point/Davisville is in close proximity to many labs and universities
associated with the ship’s ocean exploration mission. The site
was identified as best able to facilitate and enhance critical ocean
research partnerships and to spur technological innovation in ocean
research. Homeporting Okeanos Explorer at Quonset Point/Davisville also
would support NOAA’s efforts to increase regional collaboration,
leverage existing resources of NOAA and its partners, and generate an
observational capacity greater than the sum of its parts.
“I am pleased NOAA has identified Quonset Point/Davisville as an ideal place to homeport Okeanos Explorer. This is an exciting announcement for Rhode Island and the field of ocean exploration,” said Senator Jack Reed. “Rhode Islanders value the ocean. It shapes our culture, economy and the health of our planet. URI and other local institutions are at the forefront of studying and exploring our oceans. Their unique academic and communications resources will significantly enhance the value of Okeanos.”
"I'm very pleased that NOAA has agreed to seriously consider basing the Okeanos Explorer in the Ocean State," Rhode Island Governor Donald L. Carcieri said. "I have long argued that Rhode Island can and should be one of America's leading centers of oceanic research. To further that goal, I worked with Senator Reed and Admiral Lautenbacher to bring the Okeanos Explorer to Rhode Island. Doing so will enable our state to build on the research capacity we've already developed at URI, while also exploiting the potential of Quonset Point/Davisville as a launching point for exploring the ocean's untapped and largely unknown resources. I especially want to thank NOAA and Admiral Lautenbacher for recognizing Rhode Island's potential."
would be very fitting for the Ocean State to serve as the homeport for
the first NOAA ship focused exclusively on ocean exploration,”
said Rear Admiral Samuel
P. De Bow Jr., director of the NOAA
Commissioned Officer Corps and the NOAA
Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, which manages the NOAA
As part of the NOAA fleet, Okeanos Explorer will be operated, managed and maintained by the NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations. Its crew will consist of technical specialists, wage mariners, scientists, and commissioned officers of the NOAA Corps—the nation’s seventh uniformed service. The Corps is composed of scientists and engineers who provide NOAA with an important blend of operational, management and technical skills that support the agency’s environmental programs at sea, in the air and ashore. A NOAA Corps officer will command Okeanos Explorer.
NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA. NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of the nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.
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