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A trip to Aquarius, the last permanent undersea research base

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Brian Lam explores the Aquarius underwater laboratory, which is in danger of being shut down next year.

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The Aquarius laboratory, located in the Florida Keys and funded by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is the only permanent underwater base devoted to research. Inside its walls, "aquanauts" live almost unnoticed by the marine life and able to take long dives that would be impossible from the surface. It's also in danger of being shut down after its budget was zeroed in a recent round of funding cuts. Reporter Brian Lam has plumbed the watery depths as a group of scientists and filmmakers attempt to raise awareness and have funding restored. This is the first piece in a series that will run throughout the week, as Lam explores the ocean base and the ecosystem that's grown around it.