Windows to the Deep 2018: Exploration of the Southeast US Continental Margin was a 36-day expedition aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer to acquire data on priority exploration areas identified by the ocean management and scientific communities. This expedition involved high-resolution multibeam sonar mapping and ROV dives, ranging from 340 m to 3,400 m depth, across the southeast US continental margin. Operations primarily targeted areas with potential to host deep-sea coral and sponge communities, including mounds, ridges, and terraced
features on the continental slope. Dive sites also included maritime heritage sites, a submarine landslide feature, and several submarine canyon slopes, some of which exhibited evidence of active cold seeps. High biological abundance was noted at six of 17 dive sites, three of which also had high biological diversity. Additionally, deep-sea corals or sponges were observed on every dive except one, which was dedicated to gas seep exploration.