"He protected us and put us back in the budget when NOAA or other groups took us out of the budget. He also indicated he would do the same in the coming year," said Wiltshire.
Even though land-based analysis and research continues on the new found species, there are no upcoming dives scheduled. The 20 scientists and staff members wait for what will happen in the new year.
"It is a tremendously nerve wracking time for all of us," said Wiltshire.
They have dropped into the unknown, darkened abyss of the ocean, but the uncertainty over their future is what has this unique group of scientists on edge now.
In addition to research dives, HURL's two submersibles are also used for engineering work to check underwater pipes, cables and to do surveys.
Those jobs only make up about 25 percent of the program's funding and it will need additional resources to keep on exploring the depths.