NOAA Ship Nancy Foster docks in Savannah after finishing research expedition at Gray's Reef

NOAA Ship Nancy Foster docks in Savannah after completing research expedition
Published: Jul. 17, 2016 at 11:09 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - You may have noticed NOAA Ship Nancy Foster docked along River Street in Savannah. The crew is sharing their stories after a research expedition to Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary.

The expedition lasted from July 7th through July 16th, WTOC's Marla Rooker had the opportunity to speak with the captain and scientists on-board the vessel.

Lt. Commander Jeff Shoup, NOAA Ship Nancy Foster's Commanding Officer said, "we are based out of Charleston, South Carolina but we get to come to Savannah and see what is your back yard here and actually go out and study it."

Sarah Fangman, Superintendent of Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary, elaborated on Gray's Reef by saying, "it is a federally protected area off the Georgia coast, it is located about 60 miles due east of Sapelo Island, it is a 22 mile protected place."

The scientists looked at all kinds of marine life. Over 100 dive teams were put into the water during the course of the 10 day trip.

Fangman said "we were looking at the fish community, we were looking at predator and prey interactions in the fish community, we were looking at the habitat. We were looking for invasive species."

The ship only visits Savannah once a year for this special trip to Gray's Reef. Every time there are new findings, exciting for everyone.

"We saw some tiny little jack-knife fish this time that were almost invisible to the eye but were just big enough to see, probably just two days old," said Fangman.

Lt. Commander Shoup told us of his favorite sightings, "sharks, dolphins, turtles out there."

For more information on NOAA'S research at Gray's Reef click here.

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