Endangered Unique Marine Technology
Many of you may have heard of the Aquarius Reef Base which
is currently operated by University of North Carolina Wilmington and the
National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (under NURP), and that is
located about 4 miles offshore from Key Largo, FL.
What you may not know is that it has become an endangered
species of sorts. It appears that
according to Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriation Bills from the House
(H5326) and Senate (S2323). NURP originally terminated in President’s FY13
budget. Aquarius not restored in either bill.
This is means that the Aquarius Reef Base Program will not be
continued due to lack of funding.
There is currently an effort being made by various
individuals to attempt to save the program by either lobbying congress for
refunding or by possibly privatizing the operation.
If you want to learn more about the Aquarius Reef Base
facility and program, you can visit their website at http://aquarius.uncw.edu/
or the NOAA Ocean Explorer site at http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/technology/diving/aquarius/aquarius.html
The Aquarius Foundation (newly formed) is heading up efforts
to save the Aquarius Reef Base and they can be visited on FaceBook at the
Aquarius Foundation page.