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For thousands of years, modern coral reef communities have stood the test of time. What have they learned during that time? What do they know about the oceans that we have yet to learn. What can they tell us about species that come and go, about the quality of the ocean waters, and the effects they are seeing from global climate change? If these reefs could talk, what would they tell us? Join Team Aquarius and NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary Program on a September mission to the world's only undersea laboratory as we ask these questions and more. During a 9-day mission, Team Aquarius will live in the watery world of the Florida Keys inside the National Undersea Research Center's Aquarius. Team Aquarius will commune with the coral communities of the keys and work to understand what they can tell us about our oceans, our planet, ourselves.
Six divers will live in an unfamiliar habitat 50 feet below the ocean, diving up to nine hours a day to conduct experiments and get a close-up look at Florida's coral reefs -- while giving you the chance to travel along! New technologies will allow the team to deliver video and voice communications over the web directly to your homes and classrooms. A few clicks of a mouse will take you from the comfort of your easy chair to the challenging environment of the outer reefs of the Florida Keys, where storms and heavy seas can turn a calm, sunny day into a scary experience in a hurry.
Listen and watch aquanauts live, eat, sleep and work full time underwater. Tune in as they deal with the challenges of living in the sea, and learn what they discover from their research of the reefs. Hear about the chill of long dives, taking sensitive equipment to places it was not designed for, and trying to ward off skin conditions that come with long exposures to humid air. Ask aquanauts questions on your computer. Watch short programs on reef ecology, the technology of an undersea habitat, and living and working underwater. If you teach, watch for educational programs and materials that are sure to keep your class' attention.
NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary Program and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary have partnered with the National Undersea Research Center at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill to bring you If Reefs Could Talk, a program hosted LIVE on the website oceansLIVE.org.