The SeaWord Xpeditions and EducationFoundation was founded in 1999 by a group of maritime industry professionals committed to providing the public with access to educational and scientific discovery opportunities available in the world’s oceans and seas. Through partnering with existing at-sea expeditions and leveraging available resources, SeaWord has sponsored several educational and scientific discovery projects. The core staff of the organization includes a director, two teachers, and a maritime archaeologist who work on a part-time and volunteer basis. The team is supported with infrastructure and volunteer personnel by Nauticos, LLC, a proven leader in deep ocean exploration and discovery since 1986. Nauticos and SeaWord work together to build partnerships in the maritime industry to provide access to educational and scientific discovery opportunities.
In May and September of 1999, SeaWord supported two students to join the expeditions to find historic shipwrecks at the World War II Battle of Midway site. The following year, SeaWord obtained assistance from the Chesapeake Bay Trust to help the fledgling Bay Bus Partnership Program (B2P2). During June 2000, through a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust Fund, Seaword helped pay for transportation costs, a student teacher stipend and other expenses to allow more than twenty (20) students to obtain hands-on experience working in the local Chesapeake Bay habitat area.
When Nauticos identified a 200 B.C. vessel buried deep in the Mediterranean ocean (Ancient Wreck) in 1999, they found evidence that challenged long held assumptions that ancient sailors lacked the navigational skills to sail long distances across open waters. In March 2002, SeaWord made the founding donation to build a replica of the 2300 year old ancient ship, the Kyrenia. The new Kyrenia replica is intended to serve as an ambassador to the world. It sailed into Greece for the 2004 Olympics with the Nauticos and SeaWord logos on its sail. The hope is that the ship will generate enough interest and support to fund a return to a similar historic shipwreck, the Ancient Wreck, and begin another ancient voyage of discovery.
Also, in 2002, SeaWord sent a teacher and two students to sea to support a Nauticos expedition to see Amelia Earhart’s Electra. The Education Team conducted experiments, documented the expedition, ran Sea School programs, and shared experiences with observers back ashore. A similar expedition was conducted in 2006. In the years following, members of the team have address schools and held teacher workshops to further this educational outreach.
In 2016, SeaWord supported a NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration) expedition to explore the Northwest Hawaiian Islands Marine Sanctuary. During this endeavor, the organization developed a Web Portal to allow student, teachers, and anyone from the general public to follow the expedition and even view live video feed from the seafloor. During the expedition, the NOAA team identified 249 different types of organisms, and 34 geological and biological specimens were collected including 13 species unknown to the region (or in some cases the planet). SeaWord supported the participation via telepresence of two teachers, two historians, and an underwater archeologist.