the Ocean State

Dive In, to an Ocean State of Mind

Our Lombardi Undersea Resource Center, or LURC, in Middletown Rhode Island provides the physical hub and incubation space for developing new technologies and techniques for human ocean exploration. Further, much of OO’s creative development work takes place from within the walls of several coffee shops located in Providence’s East Side.

Despite the deep influences of the Island Nation, our roots are at home in the Ocean State of Rhode Island, USA. Its energetic and flourishing maritime industry largely influenced our upbringing, and the coastal community has cradled our humble beginnings. Further, the Ocean State’s capital city of Providence is at the heart of an intellectual engine that makes up the New England innovation sector.

The Ocean State has its own history in exploration with Narragansett Bay being explored by Giovanni di Verrazzano in the 1524. Further, Rhode Island is the settlement retreat of 17th century separatists for religious freedom, interestingly, quite contrary to the 18th century loyalists that settled the Island Nation.

With field programs taking us throughout the United States, the South Pacific ,Europe, the Caribbean, Hong Kong, and as far as Antarctica, we continually think about impacts at a global scale – recognizing that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction that helps to sculpt the world we live in.

However, it is our local actions that we embrace as our strengths, and provides the many tools, techniques, and leverage to reach out more globally.

Be it advocacy for local shark populations, extending the accessible range of local dive sites, creating artificial reefs, or engaging the humanities community with our work, OO is proud to help the Ocean State stand tall and up to its name.

Help Us Give Rhode Island Diving a Boost

Your donations help us to promote an ‘Ocean State’ of Mind for all citizens of our Blue Planet.

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Read More to Open your Ocean State of Mind

diving in the background

This week was one of those weeks – a marathon stretch of hard mud diving every day which equated to just shy of 30 hours underwater within a 5 day stretch, with one day including a 7 hour dive. I’ve had lots of weeks like this, for better or worse, and they always manage to bring forward some of the harsh realities of the trade, while leaving the glamour of diving hidden in the background. So, what the heck was I doing for 30 hours down there? Well, I was being part underwater engineer, part underwater carpenter, and part underwater trash man. We were tasked with installing several thousands of pounds of foam flotation to a new concrete floating dock to make it more level...
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the ups and downs of mooring work

Tis the season – water is still cold, brisk morning starts, and a glimpse of spring come afternoon – and the long days out on the water have kicked off. This time of year is a big focus on one thing…mooring work. What is mooring work? Well, for those landlubber readers, a mooring itself is the permanent anchor set out on the water where folks will tie up a boat that stays on the water for some period of time. Its anatomy consists of some type of heavy bottom tackle, most often a ‘mushroom’ anchor, though at time concrete blocks, or helical screws hydraulically driven into the bottom; a shot of heavy ‘bottom chain’, which rests on the bottom and rarely moves unless there is...
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Grant Received | Innovate RI

Very pleased to share that we received a small grant through the Rhode Island Science & Technology Advisory Council (STAC) Innovate RI Small Business Fund to officially hire our intern! We’ve been working with students from a variety of New England institutions for over a decade on everything from public relations to technology development. Last summer, we reached out to the University of Rhode Island for student engineering assistance with our Ocean Space Habitat development project, and that’s what we got. Just in the last six months, thanks to Adam Piispanen from URI, we have made progress in better understanding the mechanics of variable depth capability for our portable habitat, and have started to take a serious deep dive (no pun intended) into engineering schematics for many...
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all clammed up

While most of the world was busy getting ‘Trumped’ Tuesday night (election night), there I was, all clammed up on the galley bench of a clam dredge fishing vessel trying to get a few hours sleep while en route to Nantucket Shoals off of Massachusetts. The mission – recover a clam dredge that had been lost. So, what is a clam dredge? Well, imagine a very large steel cage with a series of water jet nozzles at the front used to churn up the ocean floor. The vessel drags this cage through a clam bed, and picks up just about anything in its wake. This is not an incredibly selective methods of fishing, but is one of those techniques used for ages that is unlikely...
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a lot to digest…

Here in the US, consumerism has evolved to reach scales of excess that most cannot even imagine. Most people go about their day, making trash, flushing toilets, and throwing away food without any second thought of how this post consumer waste is managed. Frankly, once the trash man takes it away, it is out of sight, and out of mind. We ocean enthusiasts can at times be sensitized to images of plastic garbage on coral reefs, a large marine mammals drowned by garbage, and of course bioaccumulation of various toxins within critters higher up the food chain. The intrinsic beauty of the ocean is a stark contrast to these issues of pollution and waste, so it certainly makes for a compelling story. Today, I got...
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barnacles for breakfast

This morning I chugged down half a coffee and then slipped beneath the layer of floating cigarette butts, seaweed, and miscellaneous plastic garbage to settle in to my home for the next 90 minutes – scrubbing the hull of a sailboat that had sat stationary in a dirty marina for more than a year. Nothing short of yumminess, and I would argue that I had barnacles for breakfast. Those 90 minutes were some much needed solitude, and let me take a trip down memory lane… Twenty years ago I thumbed through the phone book (sorry kids, no iPhones) and called all of the local diving companies looking for summer work. I had just learned how to dive, wasn’t very good at it (in fact found...
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Salvage of the Irish Piper

The last few weeks have marked the return to getting out there on the water and diving in to the life aquatic in full force. I must say, after a couple of years sitting behind a desk in a management capacity, the return to the field has come with some bumps and bruises – part of this is being somewhat de-conditioned for the hard natured diving, and I’m sure the other part of it is just being a little bit older, but not too old, to be out there diving hard. This past Saturday was a good test, while responding to the call to salvage the F/V Irish Piper, a 41′ lobster boat which sunk on its mooring in Gloucester, Massachusetts. As many of these...
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Dive #4000 this Sidemount Saturday

My technical beach excursions have gained some attention the last few weeks, and I suppose with reasons to be understood as I schlep a diver propulsion vehicle and a few sidemount bottles to the beach of our most popular local dive site where openwater training is the norm. Over the winter, I had the place to myself, but summertime brings scores of divers to Ft. Wetherill in Jamestown, Rhode Island, and my heap o’ stuff has raised some questions… Well, I started ‘Sidemount Saturdays’ as a means to blow some steam (or bubbles anyway) and get away for a local dive. Between work dives and expedition travel over the last bunch of years it had dawned on me that I wasn’t as connected to the...
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