This year marks the end of an era; the Aquarius Reef Base (Key Largo, Florida), will no longer be the world’s only undersea lab, as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have made the decision to pull funding for the Base. Jon White, an aquanaut on the last mission to Aquarius calls this decision, “…a foolish loss of capability, when we need all the help we can muster to understand the ocean and…measures to protect it.”
With half the coral reefs in the world have been destroyed, I believe it is of the utmost importance to preserve and fund missions like this that will help to protect and save the delicate ecosystem that feeds the world, and provides us with oxygen and clean water we need to survive. Hopefully despite the lack of federal funding Aquarius will survive from private funding. The uncertain economic and political climate the entire world is facing right now does not bode well for little known science projects, placing the ocean’s future under even more tenuous stress.