ISLAMORADA, Fla. -

Fabien Cousteau and his team of scientists and filmmakers are preparing to return to land after a month underwater in the Florida Keys.

Decompression begins Tuesday afternoon for Cousteau and his "Mission 31" team inside Aquarius Reef Base. The aquanauts are scheduled to return to Islamorada on Wednesday after spending 31 days living and working in a school bus-sized laboratory that sits 63 feet below the ocean's surface.

The lab allows researchers to spend long hours scuba diving and working without needing to return to a boat. Cousteau and his crew will spend almost 16 hours undergoing decompression inside the lab so that they can return to the surface without suffering the bends.

The crew dove June 1 to Aquarius to study the nearby coral reef.