The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Seabed 2030 and NOAA formalizes the collaboration that has already begun between the two parties. It will also greatly expand our understanding of the world's ocean. The MOU was signed by Seabed 2030 Head of Partnerships Mr Stephen Hall and Dr Rick Spinrad on behalf of NOAA at the UN Ocean Conference 2022 in Lisbon.

Dr Spinrad’s involvement with NOAA dates back to 2003, when he served as Head of its National Ocean Service for two years, and Head of its Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research for seven years. He was Chief Scientist from 2014 to 2016, before being nominated by US President Joseph Biden last year to serve as the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, which includes serving as the Administrator of NOAA.

“The ocean covers more than 70 per cent of the planet,” said Dr Spinrad. “With the development of new tools and technologies for mapping and measuring its floor, we have a better capacity to understand its physical structure, and the life it supports, and therefore better understand our full planet. That knowledge can help us make better, more sustainable decisions — locally, nationally, and globally.”

The expertise offered by NOAA and its scientists will play an invaluable role in taking Seabed 2030 one step closer to the finish line.