Project Baseline (PB) and Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI) have recently formed an official partnership with the goal of forming jointly funded research missions.
These research projects will focus on the exploration and documentation of marine ecosystems, particularly within shallow and mesosphotic reefs and their fish habitats.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed in September of 2015, represents a critical next step for Project Baseline and the Baseline Explorer (BEX). The BEX ship, a 146’ research vessel, is used to help advance PB’s goals as the initiative strives to formalize collaborations with scientific entities worldwide.
With their new partnership PB will be able to solicit more funding by using HBOI as a demonstration of the significance of PB’s involvement with marine research and conservation. Partnering with HBOI will increase awareness of the initiative and potentially bring PB to the forefront of oceanographic conservation.
The goal of PB is to get as many aquatic explorers, researchers, media personnel and politicians into the water as possible to promote and hasten the underwater research and documentation, and effective marine conservation. The evolving relationship between PB and HBOI will bring wide scale attention to both positive and negative developments in marine ecosystems.
According to PB Program Manager Vanessa Belz, “When mobile operations such as (BEX) are optimized, Project Baseline will realize a comprehensive, community based research and public awareness of the underwater world in a way that no other scuba agency has ever done,” Belz said.
PB hopes to initiate dive operations with HBOI by the end of 2015.
The public is encouraged and welcome to become part of the Global Underwater Explorers initiative. For more information about how to get involved with Project Baseline visit our homepage at www.projectbaseline.org
Submitted by – Taylor Bruce