In 2012 a group of students came together and formed an out of school underwater robotics club called the Gulf Coast Contenders when the Naval Research Lab at Stennis Space Center announced they would be sponsoring a regional SeaPerch competition on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  

In 2014 the Gulf Coast Contenders captured the top prize for the SeaPerch competition - The National Challenge Award.

SeaPerch will continue to be the mainstay for ROV competitions in the near future while other, more advanced, competitions are reviewed for possible inclusion in the UREEF program.