October 23, 2000
Chancellor Greenwood, Commerce Secretary Mineta, and others dedicate new federal
marine fisheries laboratory
By Tim Stephens
U.S. Commerce Secretary Norman Y. Mineta, along with Chancellor Greenwood and Congressman
Sam Farr, last week dedicated a new federal marine research facility located next
to Long Marine Laboratory.
|Chancellor Greenwood, Congressman Sam Farr, and Commerce Secretary Norman Mineta
joined to dedicate the new National Marine Fisheries Service lab in Santa Cruz.
Photo: Victor Schiffrin
The dedication of the National Marine Fisheries Service Santa Cruz Laboratory
on October 17 included a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a reception at the Seymour Center.
The new lab will, in addition to conducting fisheries research, house the nation's
first National Science Center for Marine Protected Areas.
"Our oceans are indispensable lifelines from both environmental and economic
perspectives and require first-class research to ensure their health," Mineta
said. "This laboratory will provide researchers with the critical tools they
need to help shape the future of our oceans."
The state-of-the-art laboratory joins a growing community of marine research and
education facilities at the Long Marine Lab site and in the Monterey Bay region.
Other facilities on the site, in addition to Long Marine Lab, include a Marine Wildlife
Veterinary Care and Research Center (California Department of Fish and Game) and
the Seymour Marine Discovery Center. UCSC's Center for Ocean Health and a Seabird/Raptor
Facility are currently under construction.
"I am delighted to welcome our new neighbor and our newest partner in marine
reseach," Greenwood said. "The new NOAA Fisheries facility, with its distinguished
scientists, is a major addition to the unique consortium of leading ocean sciences
organizations in the Monterey Bay Area."
There are now 21 marine science institutions or agency programs based in the Monterey
Bay region, employing nearly 1,850 scientists and support staff and with a collective
annual budget of nearly $150 million. The $19.4 million fisheries laboratory replaces
obsolete lab facilities in Tiburon.
The mission of the new laboratory is to conduct research and produce scientific information
and data to support conservation and management of marine fisheries and essential
fish habitat. Laboratory scientists focus on a wide variety of field and laboratory
studies in the Pacific Ocean off central and northern California and in coastal salmon
streams. The environmental research will focus on the nearshore waters along the
central California coast and San Francisco Bay and will provide a scientific basis
for future management decisions.
Commerce Secretary Mineta used the occasion of the dedication ceremony to advocate
a national emphasis on ocean stewardship.
"One of my top priorities is protecting the oceans and learning all that we
can about them. With this stewardship comes important collaborations such as this
one that will open doors to new partnerships to help us protect and restore our oceans
for generations to come," Mineta said.
Mineta also announced the lab's additional role as the home of the new National Science
Center for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
"Born out of President Clinton's Executive Order earlier this spring to enhance
existing and newly established MPAs for protection and conservation for our coastal
and marine resources, this center will be the focal point of our efforts," Secretary
MPAs are major management tools for protecting, restoring, and enjoying coastal and
marine resources in the United States and internationally. The national MPA initiative
calls for the creation of a comprehensive system of marine protected areas designed
to conserve and study representative habitats of all our nation's marine ecosystems.
"There isn't a better place to locate the MPA Science Center than Santa Cruz,"
said Congressman Sam Farr, who has helped make the new fisheries lab a reality. "We
have the best scientists; we have the most up-to-date equipment and a brand new laboratory;
we have the grandest doorway to the oceans of anywhere on the planet. This is where
it all happens."
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