Funding HURLed Away

I normally don’t hit up colleagues for signing petitions etc…but HURL (the Hawai’i Undersea Research Lab) has entirely lost their funding. I’ve signed a “Save HURL” petition and I’m hoping you will, too.

HURL is a regional undersea research facility of the US National Undersea Research Program and is the most cost-effective research submarine operation in the world. It was established by Cooperative Agreement in 1980 between NOAA and the University of Hawai‘i, at which point it became a Regional Center in NOAA’s Undersea Research Program (NURP). Employing only 5 people and with a miniscule $3M annual operating budget HURL maintains and operate 2 manned deep-submergence submarines for scientific use. HURL conducts highly-rated, peer-reviewed undersea research in waters of the Hawaiian Islands and waters of the central, southern, and western Pacific—research that ultimately benefits all of mankind.  HURL is one of only two deepwater submergence facilities in the world that routinely extract biological and substrate data from their dive video archives.  (You can read their accomplishments in detail.)

The government, through NOAA, doesn’t want to spend a relative pittance on HURL’s scientific research activities—despite that HURL provides the most “bang for the buck” of any such organization in the world.  But please note that:

  • The replacement cost of a single Apache helicopter (109 of which were lost in Iraq) would keep HURL going for 5 years.
  • HURL’s entire annual budget is what the military spent in 78 minutes (!) in Iraq on air conditioning ($20.2B/year, per NPR 7/25/2011).
  • The portion of Halliburton’s overcharges in Iraq which the Pentagon classified as “Unreasonable and Unsupported” (not all of Halliburton’s charges, not even all of its overcharges—just the “Unreasonable and Unsupported” portion of the overcharges) would’ve kept HURL going for 466 years.
  • The money earmarked for Iraqi reconstruction which was “Lost and Reported Stolen” (not all the reconstruction money—just the lost/stolen portion) would’ve kept HURL going for 2,200 years (per CBS 6/14/2011).

I hope you will join with me and lend your names to the Save HURL petition—just click the following link:

For some great photos of what HURL does, see their Facebook page (

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