I’m so excited that in such a short amount of time the Save Our Subs & Ships effort have already reached their goal and are now setting their sights higher and want to get 5000 signatures. Thanks to Leroy Nunez from Florida for helping out the deep sea community by putting his voice to work. So many people are leaving comments on the petition which is great. It makes a huge difference to show how much you care about keeping science, engineering, technology and education in the forefront of our country. I might share some of them with you later.
Make sure you head over to the Save Our Subs & Ship website and read about the history of the Johnson Sea Link submersibles. The discoveries it has made have been so vital to not only our scientific understanding of the deep sea but to our commercial sector as well. It has played a key role in the discovery of vast communities of animals with the base of the food chain living off methane and sulfide gases. This information has helped inform the Mineral Management Service of the US Dept. of the Interior in dealing with gas and oil exploration off the Gulf coast. Here is a bit of a timeline of the unbelievable “seep” discoveries from SOS’ history page:
- 1987 Deep Sea Hydrocarbon communities discovered
- 1988-1989 Green Canyon oil lease block on the Louisiana continental shelf in the Gulf of Mexico discovered.
- 1990 Gulf Mexico Brine pool on bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, 540 sq meters, 121 psu salinity pool at 650 m depth. The brine is so dense that the JSL floated on top of it!
- 1990 Mussels “fueled by gas” discovered lining the Brine Pool
- 1994 Gas hydrate seeps in the Gulf of Mexico discovered
- 1997 Cold-Seep Vestimentiferans (tube worms) studied intensively using JSL and R/V Seward Johnson II
- 1997 Methane Ice worms discovered
And this is only ONE area of study. Not to mention the extensive work in bioluminescence, natural products chemistry/pharmacology, vertical migrations, midwater ecology, seamount discoveries and countless new species found from its endeavours.