NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson Obtains Cape Cod Bathymetry
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NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson Obtains Cape Cod Bathymetry

April 2022 marked the beginning of NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson and her crew’s field season and transit up through the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario and into Lake Erie. This field season, Thomas Jefferson’s base of operations will be in Cleveland, Ohio, and it has the distinction of being the first NOAA ship to survey the Great Lakes in over 30 years. On the way, Thomas Jefferson had the opportunity to respond to a U.S. Coast Guard request to survey and obtain modern bathymetry on Pollock Rip Channel off the Massachusetts coast.

South of Cape Cod and east of Monomoy Island lies the federally maintained Pollock Rip Channel. This route serves as the most direct route from Cape Cod to Nantucket Sound and the route of choice for some smaller watercraft that prefer to bypass the larger and busier Great Round Shoal Channel. Fishing vessels from New Bedford, Massachusetts – the highest grossing commercial fishing port in the U.S. and responsible for roughly US$451 million worth of fish landings in 2019 – also utilize the channel to access the nearby fishing grounds.

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NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson on a survey mission. (Courtesy: NOAA)