A team of five students and their biology teacher from Marina High School in Marina, Calif., won the "Name NOAA's New Ship" contest. NOAA selected the entry "Bell M. Shimada" for a 208-foot fisheries survey vessel that is currently under construction in Mississippi. Shimada was an eminent fisheries scientist who specialized in Pacific tropical tuna stocks.
"This was an extremely competitive contest, and I commend the students from Marina High School for their efforts," said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D, undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. "The contest was designed to encourage students to learn more about their oceans and coasts and the Marina High School team presented an outstanding recommendation."
"I am proud of these Marina High School students and their teacher for taking an interest in ocean issues and engaging in NOAA's contest," said Congressman Sam Farr, whose district includes the high school. "Living on the edge of the Monterey Bay and the vast deep-sea Monterey Canyon, Central Coasters are uniquely aware of their relationship with the ocean and the need to maintain healthy coastal marine environments. NOAA plays a critical role in keeping our oceans healthy and this new ship will aid in that endeavor."
Since September 2003, NOAA has been using its fleet modernization program to promote science education and ocean literacy by including students and teachers in the ship naming process. Thousands of students have participated in the contests sponsored by the NOAA Office of Education and learned more about NOAA's important scientific research.