NOAA Celebrates Opening of New Ocean Science Building at UC Santa Barbara

State-of-the-Art Facility Will Host NOAA Offices, Support Education and Research Programs

The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary is one of our nation’s great ocean treasures,” said Holly A. Bamford, Ph.D, NOAA’s assistant administrator for the National Ocean Service. “Not only will the new building be home to Channel Islands Sanctuary office, it will enhance how we collaborate with the university and dramatically advance our efforts in research, education and marine conservation.”

Half of the the new building, located on the UCSB campus next to the Marine Science Institute and the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, will serve as sanctuary offices. NOAA locates many of its facilities on college campuses to stay on the cutting edge of science and management.

The other half of the building will be the future home of the Outreach Center for Teaching Ocean Science (OCTOS), a joint project of UCSB’s Marine Science Institute and the sanctuary that will offer marine science education and ocean conservation programs to more than 40,000 students annually.

“We are thrilled that the dream of a new Ocean Science Education Building is becoming a reality today,” said Henry T. Yang, UCSB chancellor. “Our new building will serve as a center for collaborative research and education and will enhance the outreach goals of OCTOS to educate and inspire students to become stewards of the marine environment.”

Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary will continue to maintain a small operations office at Santa Barbara harbor where the NOAA research vessels Shearwater and Shark Cat are docked. It also will continue to have a presence in Ventura County, with programs and exhibits at the Cal State Channel Islands Boating Center at Channel Islands harbor.

The 15,000-square-foot Ocean Science Education Building includes numerous innovative design elements built with the objective of achieving gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED green building rating system, which sets standards for green buildings, verifying that the building was designed and built to be environmentally responsible.

NOAA invested $8.1 million in a grant to the university toward the project’s design, development, permits, and construction. UCSB contributed the land, managed the construction project and is the owner of the building. The sanctuary holds a long-term lease and pays for building operation and maintenance costs. UCSB is leading an ongoing $10 million capital campaign for designing and completing educational exhibits at OCTOS, with assistance from the Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary Foundation.

NOAA’s Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary was designated in 1980 to protect marine resources surrounding San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa and Santa Barbara islands. The sanctuary spans approximately 1,470 square miles, extending from island shorelines to six miles offshore, and encompasses a rich diversity of marine life, habitats and historical and cultural resources.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.


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