Like any great ocean-going vessel, The Nature Conservancy’s new Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) needs a name. And we want you to help us christen it — so vote online for your favorite nautical nickname.
“Flying” just above the seafloor, the ROV — an underwater robot with cameras (see video above) — gathers high-resolution video and still photographs of marine life and habitats — vital data in the fight to save California’s threatened oceans.
In September 2009, The Nature Conservancy and partners will launch a five-year study to assess the impact of trawl fishing in soft-bottom seafloor habitats in Morro Bay, using cutting-edge technology — an ROV.
The first controlled study of its kind on the West Coast, this project has the potential to yield otherwise unobtainable data. The species and habitats under study are often found amid broad continental shelves, deep canyons and offshore reefs and banks — areas beyond the reach of divers. The ROV enables researchers to travel to these hard-to-reach places, expanding their ability to explore and understand these deep underwater realms.
Need to know more before you submit your name? Read our web feature on the ROV, and listen to Conservancy lead scientist Mary Gleason’s interview with NPR’s Ed Joyce about the project.
Hundreds of people have weighed in, and now it’s your turn. You have until August 31st to let us know which name you think best suits our newest ocean ROVer. (Don’t worry — we’ll let you know which name won!)