Cousteau Leads Aquanauts In Florida Keys Undersea Expedition

By  //  June 29, 2014

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Timed For 50 Years After Historic Jacques Cousteau Effort, Mission 31 Advances Ocean Science and Exploration

A diver and a school of fish can be seen outside the Aquarius underwater research habitat in the Florida Keys, where Fabien Cousteau is leading a historic expedition. (IMAGE BY BRIAN SKERRY, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE)

A diver and a school of fish can be seen outside the Aquarius underwater research habitat in the Florida Keys, where Fabien Cousteau is leading a historic expedition. (IMAGE BY BRIAN SKERRY, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE)

THE FLORIDA KEYS – Fabien Cousteau is leading a team of scientists, educators, and filmmakers this month on the longest-ever expedition in a stationary habitat beneath the sea.

Fabien Cousteau is leading a team of scientists, educators, and filmmakers on the longest ever expedition in a stationary habitat beneath the sea. (IMAGE  BY ROBERT GOODMAN)

Jacques Cousteau led a group of “aquanauts” in an underwater habitat in the Red Sea in 1963, proving that such expeditions were possible. (IMAGE BY ROBERT GOODMAN, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC)

The project, called Mission 31, aims to build awareness about the need to protect the ocean and honors a historic expedition 50 years ago by Cousteau’s famous grandfather, explorer Jacques Cousteau.

Launched on June 1, Mission 31 is a 31-day, privately funded expedition at Florida International University’s Medina Aquarius Reef Base.

The habitat lies 63 feet (19 meters) below the surface in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

Fabien Cousteau

Fabien Cousteau

Windows look out on swimming fish and deep coral reefs. (See “Stunning Underwater Photos for World Ocean Day.”)

The team is studying climate change, ocean acidification, plastics pollution, decline of biodiversity, and predator-prey relationships.

Cousteau and his colleagues are also making a documentary film and have participated in more than 50 educational Skype sessions with schools, aquariums, and museums in the United States, Canada, Australia, Kenya, and the Czech Republic.

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VIDEOS BELOW: FABIEN COUSTEAU TAKES YOU ON A TOUR OF AQUARIUS

ABOVE VIDEO: Fabien Cousteau talks about longest-ever expedition in a stationary habitat beneath the sea.

ABOVE VIDEO: Fabien Cousteau takes you on a tour of the habitat that lies 63 feet below the surface in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.


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