Explorer and filmmaker James Cameron with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) President and Director Susan Avery. Cameron and WHOI have formed a partnership to stimulate advances in ocean science and technology and build on the breakthroughs of the 2012 Cameron-led DEEPSEA CHALLENGE expedition exploring deep-ocean trenches. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
Today, filmmaker James Cameron and director and president of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Susan Avery will be on Capitol Hill to discuss deep sea exploration. The pair will appear before a Senate hearing and will participate in several public events, according to a release from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).
During the DC events, the Deepsea Challenger will be on display. The Deepsea Challenger is the only HOV or human-occupied vehicle able to access the farthest reaches of the ocean. In March 2012, Cameron, whose top-grossing films include "Titantic" and "Avatar", piloted the HOV to the deepest spot in the ocean at the Mariana Trench some 35,787 feet below. The Mariana Trench is the Pacific Ocean, west of the Philippines. According to National Geographic's Deepsea Challenge page, "if Mount Everest were dropped into the Mariana Trench, its peak would still be more than a mile underwater".
The 24-foot Deepsea Challenger was built in Sydney, Australia. A year after the March 16, 2012 dive, Cameron donated the sub to WHOI. He had spent over seven years developing the underwater vehicle.
“As I’ve learned from another great ocean explorer, Dr. Bob Ballard, we know less about our oceans than we do the far side of the moon. We need better information about our oceans to protect the bounty they provide, and the bipartisan Senate Oceans Caucus will continue to champion ocean observation efforts," said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island).
Cameron has proven to be a good friend to WHOI and scientists exploring the ocean. He has agreed to serve on WHOI's newly-created Center for Marine Robotics Advisory Board.