Interestingly the Economist has an article mentioning two of the areas of research that I am active in - Bathymetry and Oil Seep mapping. GEBCO (of the bathymetry cookbook fame) have been tasked with collating all available hydrographic data for the ocean floors. They will also leverage mariners (including merchant marine, defence, pleasure boats) to crowd-source more depth measurements as these vessels pass to and fro. . As an interesting note - to survey the oceans with a single vessel - they claim it could take 200 years!!