NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal research vessel operated by universities in Louisiana and Mississippi is expected to begin studies in the Gulf of Mexico in 2023.
The Louisiana Universities Marine Research Consortium and the University of Southern Mississippi lead a group for the 199-foot ship. Universities in every Gulf state, Georgia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Mexico also are part of the group. Federal scientists also will use the ship.
Experts say the ship is about double the size of current Gulf research vessels, meaning scientists can go farther and stay longer at sea while working on multiple projects instead of one at a time.
The ship is among three being built in Houma for the National Science Foundation. The other two will work in for Pacific and Atlantic waters.