Woolpert Contracted by NOAA for Hydrographic Survey, Bathymetric Data in Nome, Alaska
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NOME, Alaska, May 31, 2023 ~ The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has awarded Woolpert a $7 million contract to perform hydrographic surveying and collect bathymetric data in and around Nome, Alaska. This project will update National Ocean Service nautical charting products and services and support the Seabed 2030 Project, a collaborative effort between the Nippon Foundation and the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans that aims to map the world's ocean floor by 2030.

Nome is adjacent to the Bering Strait and central to America's marine presence in the Arctic. The region serves as a major transit route for shipping traffic to the Port of Nome, which has supplied food, construction materials, equipment, and other goods for over 60 Alaskan communities for more than a century. Regional hydrographic data was last collected in the 1930s.

Woolpert will collect data over 1,874 square nautical miles in Northern Norton Sound, which stretches from Golovin Bay through Nome to Cape Woolley on the eastern edge of Alaska. The company has collected topographic, bathymetric, and hydrographic data in Alaska for decades and has an office in Wasilla. Multiple hydrographic survey vessels will be used to collect these data, including two large live-aboard ships and two Wave Adaptive Modular Vessels (WAM-Vs). The WAM-Vs will be used primarily in a force multiplication strategy in coordination with the larger vessels performing this work.

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According to Dave Neff, Woolpert Certified Hydrographer: "Hydrographic surveying in Alaska can be logistically challenging, and moving equipment requires a range of vehicles and aircraft. Local knowledge and relationships are highly beneficial for any project in Alaska. Our work over the years both as Woolpert and eTrac, a Woolpert Company, has given us the scope and confidence to cost-effectively execute while managing inherent regional risk."

The project is set to begin in June 2021 with an expected completion date of September 2021. This project will provide updated data that will support commercial fishing, shipping channels, coastal resilience, scientific research as well as Seabed 2030's mission of mapping out the world's ocean floor by 2030.
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