Maritime Education & Research Society (MERS)
MERS is a non-profit organization incorporated in Delaware. The organizational objectives are devoted to research in support of education and training in the maritime fields. Such fields include the continuing assessment of ecological impacts on coral reefs around the world, the research of maritime events that have shaped history, underwater archeology, the training of individuals and groups, and the publication of related research results.
The predecessor of the Maritime Education and Research Society (MERS) was the DORADO Expedition. The search for the remains of the USS DORADO (SS-248), a World War II Gato-class submarine lost in the Caribbean in 1943, was started by members of MERS in August 1987. The undertaking resulted in several trips to possible sites where the wreckage of DORADO may have been seen, including one site off the Yucatan Peninsula mentioned by Mexican locals in the 1970s. After years of research and an intensive underwater sonar search of the possible area in 2007, the wreckage of DORADO was not found. What was discovered was the world’s second largest coral reef, second only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. What was found during the expedition were numerous objects that may be impacting the ecological health of this amazing reef system. A 600-page book entitled “USS DORADO (SS-248): On Eternal Patrol” (ISBN 978-1-257-95155-0) on the subject matter was published by Syneca Research Group, Inc., in 2011.
The elements of the DORADO Expedition were eventually folded into MERS, originally unincorporated and officially incorporated and registered as a non-profit organization in 2015.
The overall purpose for forming MERS were:
"the furtherance of research into maritime fields of interest, including ecology and archeology, and the publication of the results of such research together with the advancement of training and education in the techniques pertaining to the study of these same areas of interest for the benefit of the public.”
The Society has also been established to provide organized lectures, conferences and seminars; to produce a substantive website that reflects our mission, goals and publications; and a mechanism for individuals and groups to participate and be educated at on-site locations around the world in these maritime fields. The intention of the Society is to act as a forum for the interchange of ideas and to bring interested parties to on-site locations to learn first-hand in their interested fields of maritime research. The specific intention is to provide cooperation between amateurs and professionals within these various fields of interest.