2019 AQUARIUS reef base Expedition

Team USX will be returning to the Atlantic Ocean, this time to Florida International University’s Aquarius Reef Base from 23-27 October 2019. The Aquarius Reef Base is an underwater habitat located 5.4 miles (9 kilometers) off Key Largo in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. It is deployed on the ocean floor 62 feet (19 meters) below the surface and is the only undersea research laboratory in the world dedicated to science and education. Our team of divers will participate in a series of trainings on reef base protocol and specialized data collection. Once training is complete, we’ll be dropping down and staying overnight in the habitat to assist FIU researchers in the study and preservation of marine ecosystems through collecting and reporting information on marine fish populations as well as selected invertebrate and algae species. This data will be utilized in multiple FIU research projects and be entered into a database used by a variety of researchers and resource agencies in monitoring the health of these local ecosystems.

Meet the Expedition Leader:



Anesti Vega is the Executive Director of USX and 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 an oceanographer, PADI SCUBA IDC Staff Instructor and Emergency First Response Instructor out of Monterey and central California. Anesti enjoys working and volunteering with local, tribal, and international environmental groups and research organizations, focusing on ocean research and conservation. He serves as an advocate in increasing accessibility to SCUBA and underwater exploration for marginalized communities and also enjoys open water swimming, mountaineering, martial arts, and many other outdoor activities. For more information, visit his website and Instragram.


Recruitment for this expedition has now closed and the team has been selected. If you applied for this expedition and did not receive correspondence on October 2nd, please check your mail filters.