July 16, 2012

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A Special Moment from Aquarius

By Dr. Sylvia Earle

By day this amazing creature lounges on the coral-encrusted framework of Aquarius looking like a big sofa cushion with eyes. Here she is at night, full-alert-predator mode, dining on fish drawn to the lab’s lights, a lioness on the prowl . . .

Meanwhile, I was with my 5 manly buddies, savoring a few hours of sleep after our first full day as Conch Reef aquanaut-explorers.

If Aquarius goes away, so will the home for the thousands of creatures  who have set up housekeeping here. Gone, too, will be a priceless living laboratory, the only place in the world where scientists, artists, poets and others can live underwater, using the ocean as a laboratory — an enduring muse.

Photo by C.J. Roller — who stayed up until 200AM to capture the
Goliath in action
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2 Comments

  • “Artificial reefs,” man-made underwater structures from shipwrecks to bridge rubble have long been used as the basis for living reefs. This is just one reason why it will be a shame if Aquarius does not continue to be funded and is dismantled as is currently planned. Hope that you can help us to spread the word to save Aquarius! ~ Deb Castellana, Mission Blue, Director of Communications

  • Mitch says:

    Sylvia, I was just writing about the coral encrusted framework of Aquarius. This in itself is a miracle of nature. That human made objects or structures over time become living reefs or support marine wildlife, coral, molluscs. Could this idea provide an answer to places within the sea that have previously suffered destruction and need rebuilding? Long term goal to transplant new life into other areas by allowing coral etc to grow on specially designed structures.

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