NOAA finds new deep-sea habitat off Olympic Peninsula – Seattle Times

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6/20 Seattle Times
By Cassandra Brooks
Seattle Times staff reporter

A federal research cruise off the Olympic Peninsula coast has revealed new deep-sea boulder fields peppered with bright sponges, small corals and rockfish.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration cruise, which returned last week from the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, was the first in a series of summer cruises looking for new deep-water rocky habitats and deep-sea coral fields.

Using high-tech underwater vehicles that take video and still photos, researchers examined critters in the sanctuary’s depths, including petite deep-water corals, bright green sponges and a variety of fish.

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