James Cameron, explorer and well-known film director, joined Dr. Susan Avery, Director of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), on Capitol Hill this week for a series of events and meetings, including a Senate Committee hearing titled “Deep Sea Challenge: Innovative Partnerships in Ocean Observation.”
In addition, Cameron came to Washington with his recently donated deepsea submersible, the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER, which earned him the world record for the longest dive during his expedition to the Marianna trench last year.
Cameron has always been fascinated by the ocean and decided to use his own assets to build the $15 million submersible to dive to the deepest part of the ocean. His overall goal for the development of the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER was to pursue his personal curiosity as well as to increase awareness of ocean exploration. Cameron donated his DEEPSEA CHALLENGER to WHOI in an effort to further utilize the submersible for deepsea exploration by scientists.
He and Avery spent several days meeting with members of Congress, including Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). On Tuesday, Cameron brought the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER to Capitol Hill and held a press conference with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Avery to highlight the significance of Cameron’s exploration and partnership with WHOI in raising awareness of our ocean.
During their interactions with policymakers, both Cameron and Avery emphasized the importance of federal investments in ocean sciences and the growing need to understand the ocean in a time when the planet is changing. While in Washington, Cameron also noted the educational value of ocean exploration.
“I want the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER to inspire kids to imagine themselves exploring the unknown,” said Cameron. “As the next generation of scientists, engineers, teachers, business owners, and political leaders, their enthusiasm for exploration, for taking risks, solving problems, and pursuing knowledge is vital to the country and to the world.”
To view photos of the events, click here.