USX will be descending greatly in altitude to the depths of Florida’s Atlantic coast for our very first scuba diving expedition to conduct research and data collection on coral reef systems! We are partnering with Reef Check for our team of active duty/veteran citizen scientists to undergo training in a globally standardized scientific protocol, and conduct transect-based survey dives to assist in establishing and monitoring the health of coral reefs off the Atlantic coast of Florida. Along with identifying indicator species of fish and invertebrates, our team will be documenting coral reef bleaching events and diseases. The data may be analyzed and used locally by marine park managers, nationally by fisheries and environment managers, and internationally by organizations including United Nations agencies to help better track and care for coral reefs worldwide. Meet our Expedition Leader and team below.
Anesti Vega is an Army veteran, serving as an Infantryman in the 101st Airborne Division, and later on as an Intelligence Analyst in 7th Special Forces Group. He is currently a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer and Emergency First Response Instructor out of Monterey California. Anesti is a conservationist and scientist, working and volunteering with local, tribal, and international environmental groups and research organizations, focusing on ocean conservation and shark ecology.