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November 3, 1997

New gifts push Marine Discovery Center toward fund-raising goal

An artist's conception of the Marine Discovery Center
By Robert Irion

Nearly $800,000 worth of gifts have helped the Marine Discovery Center, a public education facility under construction at the Joseph M. Long Marine Laboratory, move substantially closer to reality.

The gifts include a $500,000 matching grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation of Los Altos and two $100,000 donations from area residents. They bring the total raised to date for the Marine Discovery Center to about $3.2 million--roughly two-thirds of the $4.7 million amount needed to fund the center's construction.

Project coordinators at UCSC also hope to raise an additional $600,000 to finance the center's exhibits. All of the project funds, except for $500,000 from the University of California for a teaching laboratory, are being raised from private sources.

Contractors will pour the center's foundation within the next two weeks at a dramatic oceanfront site overlooking the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. When completed late next year, the center will triple Long Marine Lab's capacity to educate schoolchildren and the public about the marine environment. Operated by UCSC, Long Marine Lab is the only marine research lab in the state--and one of just a few in the country--to open its doors for educational activities and tours.

"Long Marine Lab's education programs focus on the critical importance of the oceans to the health of our planet," said Robert Stephens, cochair of the center's Capital Campaign Committee. "The Marine Discovery Center will greatly enhance those programs with a spacious new building in a beautiful setting."

Added Gurden Mooser, cochair of the Capital Campaign Committee: "We deeply appreciate the continued support for this project from the Packard Foundation and from our generous private donors. It is clear that our community recognizes the value of the Marine Discovery Center for our children and for the general public."

The latest gifts are as follows:

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