Oceans of Opportunity

Since 2008, this Blog has been a communications priority providing shorts, op-eds, and bramblings that communicate our evolution to ‘a new life in the sea’.

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Expedition Underway | in TOTO deep – November 12-22

'A New Life in the Sea' by Michael LombardiA small but critical part to fueling content for this Blog and its related sister projects is getting in to the field, and partaking in expeditious journeys to gain a unique perspective on the far corners of the planet. For nearly a decade now, a priority geographic region of interest for me has been the Bahamas.

On November 12th, I am headed to the island nation to participate in an expedition entitled ‘2010 | in TOTO deep’. The project is setting out to document the deepwater coral reef systems of the Tongue of the Ocean (TOTO), Bahamas – the world’s 3rd largest barrier reef system which remains largely unexplored, especially at these depths.

Our team will utilize advanced manned diving modes to explore to depths in excess of 100 meters, with the intent of systemmatically acquiring high definition video and high resolution still imagery of the natural history of this alien environment. This information will be organized to catalyze grander scale scientific efforts in the future, and to provide a window into this unique and alien ecosystem for the public. While working to acquire these images to advance science, we will also be carefully evaluating the biomechanics of humans making excursions to, and working at these depths.

Support diver Caleb Thibeault descending to the deep during a related effort in 2002.
So, what does this work have to do with our ongoing discussion of ‘a new life in the sea’? Well, I can go on forever, but in short – by challenging our current body of knowledge in the ocean sciences and exploration, we are pushing the frontiers of our capacity as humans on this planet. Not in a dangerous way by any means, nor by performing stunts or chasing records, but by harnessing the tools and knowledge acquired elsewhere to put to good use. As terrestrial creatures, the vast majority of our experiences stop at the water’s edge. If we can operate at that other extreme, and well at that, it may very well encourage humanity to take a few more steps, perhaps even knee-deep, towards a life aquatic.

Stay tuned in here at ‘a New Life’ from November 12 through 22 as I chronicle the journey and share dispatches from the field.

The expedition is currently supported by the following:

Ocean Opportunity Inc.
University of Connecticut
Small Hope Bay Lodge
Bill & Nancy Clark

Mary-Ann Lombardi
Steve & Kathryn Colacchio
Shearwater Research
Molecular Products

We will also be carrying Explorer’s Club Flag #172 on this expedition. A very special thanks to the EC for their support with this prestigious honor.

More details about this project: in TOTO deep expedition

Expedition press-release: in TOTO deep press release


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