High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! Aquarius is an underwater habitat located in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. It is one of the few underwater research facilities in the world dedicated to science. Aquarius is owned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA and operated by the National Undersea Research Center NURC at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Aquarius was built in Victoria, Texas, in 1986. Underwater operations first began in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Following Hurricane Hugo in 1989 Aquarius was taken to NURC for repairs and refurbishment and was redeployed in the Florida Keys in 1992. Aquarius is located under 20 m (62 ft) of water at the base of a coral reef within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, an ideal site for studying the health of sensitive coral reefs.