A peek at the UNCW's undersea lab. Courtesy Aquarius Reef Base.
WILMINGTON, NC -- The University of North Carolina Wilmington says federal funding cuts threaten its undersea laboratory.
The StarNews of Wilmington reported the school said the federal budget in the U.S. House could threaten the lab Aquarius, a key component of the school's marine science program.
School officials say the center would lose its research space in the Florida Keys by October of next year unless another source of funding is located.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration operates the school's National Undersea Research Center. But the federal agency has consolidated programs in its ocean exploration, which eliminates the undersea research program that included Aquarius.
The program's 11 staff members could lose their jobs.
The school is exploring the possibility of creating a foundation to provide funding.