The first cold-water activity under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Undersea Research Program will begin in the Gulf of Maine in August, according to NOAA Administrator John V. Byrne. The prime objective of the new activity will be to survey ocean dumping grounds and to study the productivity of the area's valuable fish resources. (The World Court is currently deciding on the fishing boundary between the United States and Canada in and around the Gulf of Maine.)
Detailed maps of dumpsites off Portland, Maine, and Boston, Mass., will be made, followed by an assessment of the effects dumping has on marine life. Dredge spoil is dumped offshore from Portland; a variety of material—from dredge spoil to munitions—is dumped off Boston.