Mission Aquarius = Mission Accomplished
It's official. After months of uncertainty amid federal budget cuts, the future of Aquarius Reef Base has been secured by new leadership from Florida International University. The invaluable research base was cut from NOAA's 2013 budget and facing closure, which would have caused a huge loss of knowledge and physical assets.
Thought leaders in the ocean space have called Aquarius "a national treasure," and "a time machine," allowing researchers to get done in a few weeks what would otherwise take a year.
Florida International University recieved a grant through Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Science to operate the base on behalf of NOAA, and develop a new business model to fund Aquarius, according to the International Business Times. Funding will come through a combination of this grant, private donors, and fees from government and industrial activities carried out at the base.
One World One Ocean saw the importance of Aquarius last year when budget cuts were announced, and mounted a media campaign to raise awareness about the world's only undersea research station. This outcome reinforces our belief in the importance of all of our involvement in ocean issues, and the power of a group of people, from scientists to NGO's, to business and government, working together.
We're looking forward to the next discoveries that come out of Aquarius. For now you can see last summer's coverage on our Mission Aquarius page.