Discovery Deep was launched during discussions in the fall of 2014 between our founders Frank Stopa, Mohamed Hafez and Kevin Moore about doing more for the world through their love for diving and the world's oceans, seas and waterways. By June of 2015, the then emerging non-profit launched its first project, Mapping the Radeau, during which the already growing Discovery Deep team conducted a survey of a colonial era shipwreck in Lake George, New York and produced a 3D map of the wreck enabling divers and non-divers alike to view the entire shipwreck site for the first time ever! The team also collected data on the state of the wreck to continue its conservation. Almost immediately afterwards, team members began research to put into place the exploration of historic sites in the St. Lawrence River. Additionally, the team began collecting environmental DNA (eDNA) samples in California and Florida in support of Shark Biodiversity research being conducted at the University of Salford in the UK.
As 2016 opened, Discovery Deep boasted a team of twenty volunteers and launched new projects including the filming and production work on virtual reality educational programs on California's ocean habitats, as well as the premiere of Discovery Deep's first virtual reality content, a virtual dive of the Lost Radeau, and a series of 360-degree video, which were the talk of Beneath The Sea 2016. Most recently, the team completed the dive and documentation work on the sinking of two tug boats off the North Carolina coast, which will be followed by the roll out of a citizen science program to collect observations and fish counts on the new reef site for regional marine scientists.
The main theme running through all of Discovery Deep's projects moving through 2016 and beyond is the application of innovative new technologies, such as 3D mapping, 360-degree video, online documentary and educational programs and virtual reality experiences to collect data on and document our maritime history, as well as to conserve, preserve and enhance our marine ecosystems. In other words, to "Bring the Ocean out of the Ocean."