Part of July Recognized as 'Ocean Week'

Bay County's Man in the Sea Museum is about to receive more recognition for its exhibits.

The Florida House of Representatives adopted a house resolution recognizing part of late July as Ocean Week.

SeaLab I sits at Panama City Beach's Man in the Sea Museum for Bay County residents and out-of-towners to admire.

It was the first underwater capsule built in 1964 in Bay County.

The Navy Base used SeaLab for a historic 11 day mission to go more than 190 feet underwater near the Bermuda Triangle.

"The research and the sacrifice that they did on SeaLab I was used to better society for oil exploration and understanding what we now have in the oceans," said Mike Degroote of the Man in the Sea Museum.

On Friday, the Florida House of Representatives passed a house resolution designating the end of July as "Ocean Week."

State representative Jimmy Patronis sponsored the resolution and believes SeaLab's mission plays an important role.

"Not just undersea exploration and understanding, but also what it's done for understanding outer space and all those contributions it's made for the technology we have today," said Rep. Jimmy Patronis, District 6.

Representatives from the Man in the Sea Museum worked together with Patronis on the resolution.

SeaLab is celebrating 50 years since it went underwater.

Man in the Sea Museum officials hope Ocean Week will drive more people to see the piece of history that changed how people explore the world's oceans.

Ocean Week will now be celebrated July 21st to July 27th.