SeaDoc Society and the OceanGate Foundation have partnered in support of deep exploration and research in the Salish Sea.
In September 2018 three teams of researchers will dive to depths as great as 200 meters (650 feet) in Cyclops 1, a manned submersible owned and operated by OceanGate.
During the week-long expedition starting September 10, scientists will have the rare opportunity to directly observe two important components of the Salish Sea food chain: the feeding strategies of deep-dwelling red urchins, and the behavior of Pacific sand lance which hide in deep sand wave fields; and collect data to assess the costs/benefits of scientific trawling.
“Just like the space shuttle provided a unique perspective for scientists to understand space, Cyclops 1 provides our only opportunity for direct human observation of these deep-sea environments,” said SeaDoc science director, Joe Gaydos.
Cyclops 1 can accommodate a crew of five including the submersible pilot. OceanGate CEO and founder Stockton Rush will pilot the submersible in a series of dives throughout the week. “We are truly honored to be a part of this survey” comments Rush, “We support OceanGate Foundation’s mission of “Inspiration through Exploration” through our manned submersible expeditions which ignite a passion for ocean exploration and the pursuit of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This project is a great opportunity to inspire the next generation to explore.”
Dive time for all three research projects is funded by SeaDoc as part of their annual competitive grants program, with additional funding provided by the OceanGate Foundation.
The following research teams will have an opportunity to directly view and collaborate in real-time aboard Cyclops 1 during the dives.