From 2010 through 2012, we coordinated three field expeditions to explore and document the natural history of the deep vertical reefs of the Bahamas. Work was conducted in both Exuma Sound and the Tongue of the Ocean, with more than a dozen person dives made in excess of 120 msw, to a maximum of 131 msw (446 fsw). The project succeeded in developing new methods for human intervention of the mesophotic coral ecosystem’s lower limits, and with great productivity. With the work was conducted using mixed-gas closed circuit rebreathers (CCRs), the practical limits of this technology alone were realized, providing the impetus to develop our Ocean Space Habitat technology. These few short projects continue to produce results through scientific and popular publication, as well as inspiring new technology development.
The projects were funded by Lombardi Undersea LLC and the National Geographic/Waitt Grants Program, with support from the University of Connecticut at Avery Point, Subsalve USA, the Bahamas Marine EcoCentre, Small Hope Bay Lodge, the Perry Institute for Marine Science, Shearwater Research, and Molecular Products.
.: Conquering the Abyss article on National Geographic
.: Nat Geo On Assignment video
.: National Geographic Explorers Symposium presentation
.: New species of fish discovered
.: Life on the Edge [poster download]