Woolpert has been awarded a $7 million contract by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to perform hydrographic surveying and bathymetric data collection in and around Nome, Alaska.
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.
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.
This data will be used to support commercial fishing, shipping channels, coastal resilience, scientific research, and Seabed 2030, a collaborative project that aims to map the world’s ocean floor by 2030.
Regional hydrographic data was most recently collected in the 1930s. This project will update National Ocean Service nautical charting products and services and will support the Seabed 2030 Project. This collaborative effort between the Nippon Foundation and the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans aims to integrate and share all available bathymetric data to produce a definitive map of the world’s ocean floor by 2030.
Woolpert has collected topographic, bathymetric, and hydrographic data in and around Alaska for decades and has an office in Wasilla. Multiple hydrographic survey vessels will be used to collect this 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.
“Hydrographic surveying in Alaska can be logistically challenging, and moving equipment requires a range of vehicles and aircraft,” Woolpert Certified Hydrographer Dave Neff said. “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. We’re at home in Alaska, and we are excited to provide these needed data for Nome and all who rely on the region for goods and services.”
This project is scheduled to begin in June and is expected to conclude in September.