Have you met our ROV, Seamore? Seamore is a Remotely Operated Vehicle that our staff and interns have been taking out in the ocean to get a glimpse under the water’s surface!
We utilize Seamore’s underwater camera to search for marine debris in various locations across the Monterey Bay, and to capture videos of our beautiful Marine Protected Areas from a rare perspective!
We feel that this work is valuable both in obtaining information about the value of our MPA’s, and in sharing the beauty and diversity of these areas with students and community members that may not be able to access them. View the videos and descriptions of some of our expeditions below!
“Life in a Tidepool” was created with footage from our ninth ROV expedition on January 15th, 2020 in the dynamic intertidal areas of Natural Bridges State Marine Reserve. Intertidal organisms are specially adapted to live in a constantly changing environment, where they must survive sun exposure, tides, wave action, and predation.
Over the summer, Education Coordinator Krista Rogers learned to operate the ROV during a training at Lover’s Point in Monterey. At the training, Krista learned proper protocol for ROV use, how to respect wildlife while exploring our MPA’s, and practiced maneuvering.
During our eighth expedition in the Santa Cruz Harbor, we were met with a shell covered sandy floor. We found a plastic to-go fork and some metal wire which got stuck in our propeller! The metal wire wasn’t the only thing…seaweed and kelp frequently become stuck in Seamore’s propellers, an issue that provoked intern Abby Herhold to develop a protective screen around the propellers to prevent entanglements.
Dive #7 in Soquel Creek at Capitola Beach revealed several pieces of debris. Items found included a rusty pipe, a juice carton, and a crayon! We are all still learning the best practices for maneuvering Seamore, especially in the sandy bottom areas. Often times as we get closer to objects we’d like to film, Seamore’s propellers kick up the sediment making it challenging to see. Practice makes perfect!
SOS staff Krista Rogers (left) and Alejandro Garcia (center) team up with intern Abby Herhold (right) to take Seamore out for a dive in the Santa Cruz Harbor.
*This project was developed by the SEE Initiative in partnership with National Geographic’s OpenExplorer. The OpenExplorer site has been discontinued, therefore we are developing a new home for our first few dive videos and blog posts. Stay tuned!