This critical field of research is in urgent need of attention.
Studying the oceans has repeatedly benefited the United States, from helping the Navy track and destroy German U-boats to assisting American energy companies in locating offshore oil deposits. Benjamin Franklin's 1785 description of the Gulf Stream helped to increase the speed and safety of transatlantic shipping and stimulated the fragile post-Revolutionary U.S. economy. "A vessel from Europe to North-America may shorten her passage by avoiding to stem the stream in which the thermometer will be very useful," said Franklin, "and a vessel from America to Europe may do the same by the same means of keeping in it." 1