R2H2O Expeditions

August 11 2014

The primary focus of the R2H2O Expeditions is to explore major natural springs and underground caverns located throughout the Floridan Aquifer system, primarily in South Georgia and North Florida. The public will have the opportunity to follow the Expeditions through updates on the Expeditions' website/blog and social media channels. To promote educational outreach, the Expeditions' team will create learning activities specific to each expedition site that is visited by R2H2O. The secondary focus of the R2H2O Expeditions includes visits to sites of interest located in the Flint River Basin of South Georgia. And last, but not least, a bonus expedition for R2H2O this season will include a trip to the Florida Keys during the Expeditions Leader's visit to the Jules Undersea Lodge for the inaugural Citizen Scientist Aquanaut course for Untethered Sea. The Expeditions Team will collect water samples as part of the Environmental Protection Agency's Volunteer Water Monitoring program for Region 4.

August 11 2014

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Mission Underway

Well folks, we're officially underway!!! We are SO excited to finally be able to advance to this next phase in our expeditions!!! We have made significant progress on numerous fronts, including:

Formation as an official non-profit organization: R2H2O Expeditions Inc. Secured partnerships with the Florida Springs Institute to work collaboratively on research and outreach projects. Working with local cave divers to support mapping and photo/video documentary of several underwater cave systems. Expedition planning for a mult-day field expedition to document springs hidden under the Rodman Pool (Reservoir). For more information on the Reservoir, visit: myfwc.com/fishing/freshwater/sites-forecast/ne/rodman-reservoir

Excellent! Excited to follow along!

Preparation Stage

Interested in our Expeditions? Follow us on Twitter!!

We're tweeting from @R2H2O.

We are excited to announce that R2H2O Expeditions has been approved as an Environmental Education provider for the states of Georgia and Florida!!




We are excited to announce our partnership with the Howard T. Odom Florida Springs Institute (FSI)!! The Florida Springs Institute devotes "time and energy to developing restoration and management goals for as many [Florida] springs as possible and advocating for their protection and restoration." The R2H2O Expeditions proudly supports FSI's goals, and will assist them in carrying out their mission through collaborative education and public outreach and local conservation efforts. Visit them at the website below!



Update: I've been preparing for commercial scientist-astronaut training, which is taking place now, and will be moving forward with R2H2o activities later this week. We have found an exciting group to partner with who is active in exploring the springs in the North Central Florida area, through cave diving expeditions, that include local flora & fauna counts and water sampling. We have also confirmed presentations with two regional science centers (a planetarium and an aquarium) to discuss the mission of the R2H2o Expeditions and the research and exploration objectives within the Flint River Basin region. Things are moving along nicely for us and we look forward to ramping up our activity over the coming weeks, with a target date of mid-April for our first expedition.

Wow @jguined, what will a day in the life of an astronaut trainee look like?!

We've completed our inventory of resources that we've put together for the R2H2o Expeditions thus far, and we're quite happy with the results. We still have a few things on our "wish list," but we know that in time, we'll get there.
Current Inventory:
Spare Batteries
Spare Battery Charger
Depth Meter
Apple iPad 2
iPad Waterproof Case
Apple Mac Book Pro
Magellan Explorist 110 GPS
GoPro Camera
GoPro Pelican Case
GoPro Telescoping Pole
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS20 Camera
First Aid Kit
6 Person Dome Tent
Coleman Camp Stove
Waterproof Lake Blackshear Map (located in the Flint River Basin)
Waterproof Electronic Gear Bags (small)
Perception Kayak with Personal Flotation Device and Paddle
14' SeaDoo XP-DI Jet Ski with Trailer
Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4x4
18' Chaparral Boat with Trailer

Wish List:
Enclosed Utility Trailer
Shadow Quad Copter (to use for site aerial recon and photo documentation)
OpenROV Pelican Case
Solar Power Charger (for electronic support equipment)
OpenROV Spare Parts Kit
Laptop Pelican Case
Extra OpenROV Tether
Extra Tether Management Spool
Write in the Rain Waterproof Notebook and Pencil/Pen
Gear Bags (variety of sizes)
Portable Utility Table
Hard Shell Cases for Water Sample Storage and Transportation
Waterproof Maps (Floridan Aquifer System and Flint River Basin regions)
Water Sampling Modification Parts
Temperature Sensor (water) Modification Parts
30'-38' Sailboat or Trawler
3 Additional OpenROVs

We have filed all required paperwork to obtain non-profit status at the state and Federal levels, and are in the process of completing several grant proposals. Much of our work will include research collaboration with regional universities, as well as educational/STEM outreach components.

Thank you for your continued interest in our Expeditions and your support!

Best wishes to all for a successful and prosperous 2015!

Happy Exploring!

The R2H2o Team


Nice, I like the boat too! So what is the date for your first launch of your OpenROV?

Hi Michael! Thanks! We currently have our first expedition scheduled for April 2-5, 2015, and our first 2-week expedition scheduled for June 12-26, 2015. :) After those initial two, we will have at least one "short" expedition each month, and at least an one additional 2-week expedition in the Fall. The first 2-week expedition will be the Flint River Basin and the 2nd will be the Floridan Aquifer System.

I like your inventory! Have you laid it all out on the living room/workshop floor yet and taken of photo of your expedition gear? It's always an interesting way to compare notes with other explorers. We did the same thing just before our trip to Papua New Guinea during the ROV2PNG expedition. I'm thinking it might make a great coffee table book! All the best in the coming weeks Jamie!

Taking an inventory of items that we have acquired so far to support the Expeditions, and making list of things we still need. We'll be making our first trip to the Flint River Basin in South Georgia and the Floridan Aquifer System in South Georgia/North Florida to do a bit of scouting prior to the first R2H2o Expedition in the Spring. We'll be posting photos and scouting reports at the end of this month through mid-January.
Here's a link to some great background reading on the natural history of the Flint River Basin.



Coming. 2015.


Some swamps and marshes we've visited seen a lot like and alien world,

What does ocean exploration and the use of ROVs have to do with space exploration and astrobiology? Here's a great article that explains just that! Coming soon: "Marshes to Mars."


The R2H2O Team will visit the following major sites within the Floridan Aquifer System and Flint River Basin in December 2014 and January 2015.

Flint River Basin Sites:
Lake Blackshear Blue Spring
Radium Springs
Spring Creek
Wilson Blue Spring

Floridan Aquifer System Sites:
Florida Caverns
Jackson Blue Springs
Vortex Springs
Wakulla Spring
Suwanee Springs
Ichetucknee Springs
Ginnie Springs
Manatee Springs


Did you know...the Flint River, located in the Flint River Basin (the 2nd primary site for the R2H2O Expeditions)...was named one of America's most endangered rivers in 2013? During the R2H2O Expeditions, we'll be visiting several sites located in the Flint River Basin to perform EPA water sampling, photo-document the site of collection, and to photo- and video-document fossils of prehistoric (Pleistocene Epoch) land mammals that are reportedly embedded within the limestone of several specific springs and sinkholes in the Basin region.

(image credit: Wikipedia)


To learn more about the springs located throughout the Floridan Aquifer system, you can visit this very informative website about many of Florida's springs and sinkholes.


(image copyright: USGS)


Here's a great YouTube video that provides a nice overview of the Floridan Aquifer system, the primary subject of the R2H2O Expeditions.

What an awesome surprise headed into the weekend!! R2H2O Expeditions has just been notified that it has been selected by OpenROV and Open Explorer to receive an OpenROV kit so we can make our Expedition dreams become a reality!! Please take a moment to like OpenROV and Open Explorer here on Facebook to show your support. A BIG thank you and extension of gratitude to David Lang, OpenROV, Open Explorer, and the Moore Foundation for this awesome gift! You can also follow our Expedition updates at the link below. Expeditions website coming soon!

Keep going! Excited to follow along!

The Official patch for the 2014 R2H2O Expeditions.


Patches! Nice!

I'm a HUGE patch nerd! I'll be sure to send you one once I get them!

The image below is of Radium Springs (now Radium Springs Gardens) located in the Flint River Basin region of South Georgia. This location will be one of the first locations our team plans to visit during the 2014 R2H2O Expeditions should we be lucky enough to be one of the top five teams to receive an OpenROV!! (Photo Courtesy/Copyright of James Culbreth Photography).


Wow! That's beautiful. I should put you in touch with some other OpenROVers who are down in that neck of the woods, too.

That would be GREAT @DavidLang! Thank you!

We'd love to connect! Took a sneak peek at Madison Blue Springs State Park this summer - would be a great dive too! erica.moulton@gmail.com I'd add it and Homosassa Springs to your list! You could also check out the Rainbow River and its headwaters.

Hi Erica! Thanks for commenting! I'm more than happy to collaborate! And will add your site recommendations to the list!

Expedition Background

The R2H2O Expeditions will include visits to numerous natural springs and underground cavern systems within the Floridan Aquifer geographical area and the Flint River Basin located in Southwest Georgia. The Floridan Aquifer is the largest, deepest, and oldest aquifer in the southeastern United States, and is one of the world's most productive aquifers. The Flint River Basin is located in the state of Georgia and encompasses the area from the Piedmont region of North Georgia to the Chattahoochee River in Southwest Georgia, and is one of only 42 rivers in the contiguous U.S. that flows unimpeded for over 200 miles.
The mission of the Expeditions is to use underwater cinematography and photography to document the Expeditions sites, collect water samples for the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Volunteer Water Monitoring Program for Region 4, engage the public through educational outreach, and promote environmental stewardship and conservation. The R2H2O Team will visit the following major sites within the Floridan Aquifer System and Flint River Basin:

Flint River Basin Sites: Lake Blackshear Blue Spring Radium Springs Spring Creek Wilson Blue Spring

Floridan Aquifer System Sites: Florida Caverns Jackson Blue Springs Vortex Springs Wakulla Spring Suwanee Springs Ichetucknee Springs Ginnie Springs Manatee Springs


This is really interesting! I'm excited to follow along! (And NICE graphic!)

Many thanks David!! It is certainly an honor coming from you! Grateful for this contest!

This sounds amazing! I'm curious which site are you most excited about? What kind of aquatic wildlife do you expect to see?

Hi @erikabergman! Thank you for your interest in our Expeditions! As a group we're most excited about the historic Radium Springs located in the Flint River basin area of Georgia, as well as Wakulla Spring in Florida. Radium Springs in Georgia has a very interesting history, as well as very unique geologic and hydrologic features (such as the beautiful blue and turquoise color of the spring that is a result of the Radium content in the water, and its extensive underwater cavern system). Wakulla Spring in Florida is the world's largest and deepest freshwater spring, and has a lot to offer in the way of biodiversity.

Are you working with any university or government groups? Your data would be useful since so many of these unground areas are connected to the sinkhole problem tnat surface residents in Florida dread.

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