More than a hundred explorers, scientists and government officials will gather at Long Beach's Aquarium of the Pacific on Friday to draft a blueprint to solve a deep blue problem: About 95% of the world's oceans remains unexplored.
The invitation-only forum, hosted by the aquarium and the
Of particular interest are U.S. coastal waters, including the exclusive economic zone extending 200 miles out to sea, a vast and strange terrain of undersea ecosystems, mineral resources and archeological sites.
“We know more about the surface of Mars than we do about the bottom of the ocean," said Larry Mayer, director of the
Jerry Schubel, president and chief executive officer of the aquarium, called the forum "a step toward creating the same kind of excitement as exploring outer space."
Forum participants include the Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration, the Schmidt Ocean Institute,
The public can view live video streams from the researchers' meeting, which ends Saturday, and from exploration vessels at sea including the Okeanos and Nautilus.
On Sunday at the aquarium there'll be a public event called Explorers Day, which will offer visitors an opportunity to meet ocean explorers including Sylvia Earle and Don Walsh and see demonstrations of remotely operated deep-sea vehicles.