Just after returning from the National Geographic Seamount Expedition, the DeepSee Submersible is on another exciting expedition. This time we are headed to Coiba National Park, located off the southwest coast of Panama. Mission Blue is embarking on this expedition to emphasize the importance of Coiba’s protection and to support the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institution (STRI).
The expedition is led by National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence Sylvia Earle and Mission Blue, a global coalition of partners aimed at increasing ocean protection and restoring the health of the ocean.
Here is the scoop from Mission Blue's Website:
With generous support from the STRI, Shannon and Bill Joy, Code Blue, International Community Foundation and the Sylvia Earle Alliance, a team of scientists, conservation leaders, and dive professionals, will explore Coiba to better understand this complex ecosystem.
Onboard also will be Hector Guzman, Senior Staff Scientist at STRI (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute), and Eldredge Bermingham, Director of STRI, who will lead research efforts along with Dr. Sylvia Earle and other conservation scientists.
Underwater explorations in the park will be conducted using both scuba and Undersea Hunter Group's DeepSee submersible. Included will be surveys of Hannibal Banks, an area currently unexplored below 200 feet.
To support the research community working in Coiba Smithsonian Tropical Research in their efforts to explore and catalogue marine life, especially on Hannibal Banks.
To create a set of images and outreach products that can be used as a conservation tool by all groups which are involved in the conservation effort of the Coiba area, and broadcast these internationally throughout the.
To facilitate dialog between conservation groups, government officials and the research community about the future of the area, encouraging increased protection and enforcement of Coiba Marine Park.
To provide educational stories to the Google Earth Explore the Ocean layer.
To highlight the Coiba National Park and its surroundings waters as an irreplaceable and essential ecosystem, leading to lasting conservation.