Skip to main content
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary National Marine Sanctuaries Home Page National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Home Page

2021 MBARI Sur Ridge Exploration and LiveStream

Overview | MBNMS Specific | For Teachers


the Research Vessel Western Flyer ROV Doc Ricketts
Vessel: Research Vessel (R/V) Western Flyer
Project: Live from the deep: Explore the coral and sponge gardens of Sur Ridge
Cruise Date: JUNE 30th





This summer, MBARI (Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute) will be exploring Sur Ridge in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS). Sur Ridge is a deep-sea rocky outcrop off the coast of northern California that rises 500 meters (1,640 feet) above the seafloor and is an underwater oasis of deep-sea corals and sponge gardens. Over the last decade, MBARI and MBNMS have partnered to explore and study this remarkable part of the sanctuary and better understand the growing impacts of climate change on the lush coral and sponge gardens discovered there. Working aboard R/V Western Flyer, researchers will use a suite of state-of-the-art marine technology, including cameras, high-resolution mapping tools, and the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Doc Ricketts to learn more about the countless mysteries that exist in the deep sea.

On June 30th, 2021 at 11:00 am PT, you are invited to dive behind the scenes of MBARI’s expedition to Sur Ridge during their Live from the deep virtual event. You will be able to see live footage of the seafloor, ask scientists, engineers, and aquarists from MBARI, MBNMS, and Monterey Bay Aquarium your questions, and find out what it’s really like to have a career exploring the deep ocean.

For more information on Sur Ridge visit:

image of deep-sea crab atop a bubblegum coral image of corals and sponges attached to Sur Ridge’s rocky surface
image of corals and sponges attached to Sur Ridge’s rocky surface

Images clock wise from left: A deep-sea crab (Paralomis sp.) sits atop a bubblegum coral (Paragorgia arborea) on Sur Ridge. Image © 2013 MBARI; large fingered goblet sponges (Heterochone calyx) shows a pair of arbiter snailfish (Careproctus kamikawai) seeking sanctuary from prowling predators. Image © 2013 MBARI; The jagged rocky surface of Sur Ridge supports an abundance of corals and sponges, which in turn provide refuge for countless fishes and invertebrates. Image © 2016 MBARI

This live program will be streamed live on June 30th, 2021 at 11:00 am PT. You can access the livestream by tuning in on MBARI’s YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter. You are encouraged to interact with this program by typing in your questions into the chat and comment thread to engage with the expedition team.

Live from the deep will be accessible to non-English speakers, and deaf and hard of hearing audiences by incorporating American Sign Language and closed captioning in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Dutch, English, French, Germany, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Tamil.

MBNMS Specific:


small image of map of target areas at Davidson Sea mount on OET Nautilus 2019

The target region, Sur Ridge, is located within Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The sanctuary is one of the world’s most productive and biologically rich ocean areas, protecting more than 700 species of fish, marine mammals, seabirds, and invertebrates. Scientists will map the seafloor, conduct ROV video surveys, and collect samples to aid in characterizing benthic communities.


For Teachers:



deep coral communities poster image of mola mola

Deep-sea coral communities, like the ones found in the national marine sanctuaries of the West Coast, are home to many diverse species. This curriculum takes students into the deep sea to identify the soft corals, hard corals, invertebrates, and fish found in these communities and to investigate the unique biology of deep-sea corals. Students also learn the threats these animals face and what we can do help protect them.

This webinar archive provides an introduction to the Deep-Sea Coral Communities educational materials and hands-on activities.
image of decorator crab image of bloodbelly comb jelly

Our inquiry-based curriculum will engage your students with hands-on learning and supports Next Generation Science Standards through classroom or field experiences.

This webinar archive provides an introduction to the Deep-Sea Coral Communities educational materials and hands-on activities.