News Releases

Lake City, FL -- March 27, 2009 -- The GSEP received this notice from Kelly Jessop, Chairman of the NSS-CDS:

    The Cave Diving Section of the National Speleological Society is pleased to announce that your group is this year’s recipient of the Exploration Award.  The award is given during the award ceremony at the annual workshop in Tallahassee, Florida, May 23rd.

Several members of the GSEP will be attending the annual workshop to receive the award.

Del Rio, TX -- July 20, 2008  – Cave divers from the Goodenough Springs Exploration Project surpassed their previous exploration efforts by successfully penetrating this high-flow underground aquifer to a depth of 515 feet (lake level 1098 ft). This dive confirms Goodenough Springs as likely the deepest explored underwater cave system in the United States. Through its nine years of existence the all-volunteer team fought torrential currents to work their way past a tight restriction in the cave nearly 200 feet underwater before they were able to venture even deeper. Project Director Chuck Noe was surprised upon discovering an abrupt change in the tunnel’s structure. He related, “After descending more than a hundred feet down a steep, deeply-eroded passage the cave turned 180 degrees under itself and headed off in a more gentle slope of loose pea-gravel”. By his account the cave continues even deeper, though not at such a rapid rate. For a more-detailed description of the dive and related photos, click here.

Del Rio, TX -- August 22, 2004  --  In what could possibly be one of the deepest submerged caves in the U.S., a team of Texas cave divers successfully explored this high-flow underground conduit to a depth of 393 feet,  observed (lake level: 1097). The all-volunteer team established the " Goodenough Springs Exploration Project" (GSEP) in the year 2000. During the five-year project, divers worked their way through a tight sidemount restriction nearly 200 feet under water before heading even deeper. Project director Chuck Noe, described the cave as " a large passage which continues to lead downward at a very steep angle past 400 feet of depth" . Geological evidence and drilling core samples indicate that this cave, near the U.S. / Mexico border, possibly extends as much as 1,000 feet down into the aquifer. The group plans to extend their scientific study and exploration even deeper in the coming year.  Photos of the Aug 21-22 dives will be accessible soon, in the Photo Gallery.

Houston, TX -- June 7/8, 2003 -- Chuck Noe, Director of the Goodenough Springs Exploration Project (GSEP) will be hosting an educational seminar at Seaspace, on Sunday June 8, at 2pm, in the Leafy Sea Dragon Room. The seminar, titled " Volunteer Opportunities in Technical Diving Projects," will take a realistic look at what " technical diving" really is and what motivates those involved in the sport. Attendees will be encouraged to participate in an open-forum discussion on the topic. An array of technical diving equipment will be on display, including decompression gear and diver propulsion vehicles. Chuck will also present a detailed look at an on-going exploration project on the Texas-Mexico border, outline the difficult tasks involved, and describe the responsibilities that need to be undertaken for continued success in the project. You will also learn some of the requirements of becoming a team participant.

A Texas First

Houston, TX -- September 2001 -- The Goodenoughers dive team of Texas are pleased to announce that through the cooperation of several members of the HoustonCaveDivers and Goodenoughers e-mail lists, and members of the Texas region of the IUCRR,  a "grim reaper" warning sign has been properly placed in the entrance tunnel of Goodenough Springs, near Del Rio, Texas.

There have been numerous reports of OW certified divers entering the cave and it has become a popular training site for entry-level technical divers.

Though the cave has limited penetration it still poses a number of hazards including but not limited to depth (trimix appropriate), extremely high flow, temperature extremes, entanglements (popular fishing hole), and severe silting (in parts of the cave). This cave has aptly been labeled as a "mugger cave". At least now divers will be faced with the sobering warning sign upon entering the system.

Thanks go out to Chuck Noe, Rick Aurich, Mike Gault, Bill Graham, Daniel Lloyd, Robert Laird, Jonathan Gol, Steve White, and Greg Garetz who have all contributed a great deal of time, money, and effort to the completion of this goal. It's possible that we may have done something good here.

In the past 18 months the Goodenoughers have installed an enhanced mooring buoy/anchor system, removed dangerous entanglement hazards, installed a secure permanent pull/guideline, and surveyed the system (map pending). This involved no less than 400 pounds of concrete, assorted mountain-climbing hardware, several hundred feet of line, several long and unpleasant boat rides, and a lot of work.

[This press released published in UWS; this was the accompanying photo:]