PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- It's been more than 20 years since researchers in Maine mapped shallow ocean water close to land.
Scientists are now getting ready to use a federal boat with updated technology to venture further out to sea. They will be collecting data on parts of the ocean floor that haven't been studied before.
A team of scientists and researchers from several state agencies, universities, and non-profits are using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Ocean Survey Vessel to head 15 miles out to sea this week.
Researchers say the purpose of the voyage is to collect information on marine life and topography, because Maine lacks sufficient data on the ocean floor. Scientists say the data collected will also provide valuable information about marine habitats and species.
"1980s and into the 1990s, the state of Maine mapped the shallower waters close to the land inside about three miles. Now, we're going to be working a little farther outside the three mile limit in an area that really hasn't been mapped before since lead line soundings in the early 1900s," State Marine Geologist Stephen Dickson said.
The Ocean Survey Vessel will be out to sea all week. Scientists are expected to release a report of their findings within two months after returning.