Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Florida Atlantic University (Harbor Branch) was chosen by Waitt Institute for Discovery to accomplish series of travel exploration in Straits of Florida. The Waitt, with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, is building unmanned, available cutting edge, deep ocean expedition device called autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs).

The exploration used the AUV’s in creating quality sonar maps of the deep-water Lophelia coral reefs. The Deep Sea Coral Ecosystems (DSCEs) are now under threat from the devastating bottom trawling and human-caused impacts.

The exploration is headed by research professor John Reed, who was working and studying in protecting deep corals for more than 30 years.

For the first exploration, Harbor Branch contributes ocean expedition expertise, exploration logistics, science plan execution and development and expedition resources that include research craft Seward Johnson.

CATALYST is a partnership between Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Waitt Institute for Discovery in completing series of deep sea explorations.

As founder of CATALYST Program, Waitt Institute for Discovery accredited the building of two REMUS 6000 AUVs and presently directs implementation of the CATALYST explorations.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution built and designed the original REMUS AUV and built an AUV operations group at WHOI which possesses specialty in conducting REMUS 6000 explorations anywhere around the world.

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