April 26, 1999
By Elizabeth M. Irwin
and Kathleen Shilkret
Representatives of UCSC and Wells Fargo Bank have announced an agreement to begin the process for UCSC's acquisition of approximately 55 acres adjacent to the campus's Joseph M. Long Marine Laboratory and the new Marine Discovery Center at Younger Lagoon near Natural Bridges State Beach.
It is expected that UCSC will permanently protect the wetlands and some other portions of the site, possibly as a natural reserve. Although UCSC has not developed plans for the remainder of the site, other potential uses of the land would include development of ocean and coastal research facilities and possibly some complementary housing. In addition, there is discussion of the development of a science park for children that would augment the educational programs slated for the UCSC Marine Discovery Center.
"This is a very positive decision for everyone," notes Chancellor Greenwood. "UC Santa Cruz welcomes the opportunity to enhance our existing coastal research and teaching resources, and at the same time, we take seriously the responsibility for careful stewardship of this unique property. This acquisition advances our prospects for new research partnerships, and it allows as-yet unexplored options for new service to our community."
Until recently, Wells Fargo had proposed development of the property for a mix of research and housing under the General Plan of the City of Santa Cruz.
"We're excited about having come to an agreement on the transfer of this beautiful land to the university," said Arlene Jacobson, Santa Cruz Market President for Wells Fargo. "Our Special Properties team did an outstanding job negotiating this agreement and personally, I'm inspired by the prospect of the great marine research that will occur here."
Several government officials have commented on the news. Santa Cruz Mayor Katherine Beiers stated, "I want to congratulate UCSC on its purchase of the Terrace Point property. Chancellor Greenwood has assured me that the university will work closely with the City of Santa Cruz in the course of developing a new plan for the property. The city looks forward to working with the university and the Coastal Commission in the new planning process."
Other local electeds were unanimous in their endorsement of the acquisition. Assembly Member and Speaker Pro Tem Fred Keeley has authored significant legislation to protect California's marine environment. He said, "Research about ocean health, and particularly about the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, affects us all. This purchase will open the door to opportunities for further research to protect the Monterey Bay and environs, as well as to study other marine and related issues. I also applaud the proposed maintenance of a large portion of the land as open space."
Another member of the California legislature who has been a vigorous and effective advocate for the environment and for education, State Senator Bruce McPherson, commented, "I am pleased that the university's purchase of Terrace Point will offer an opportunity to develop a new plan for expanding marine research facilities on the property. Under UCSC's leadership, and with the cooperation of the citizens of Santa Cruz, I am confident that we can bring environmental, educational, and economic benefits to our community while making a significant impact in the world of marine science."
Congressman Sam Farr, who has been a leader in many ocean-related policy issues on both the state and federal level and who hosted the National Oceans Conference in Monterey last June, stated, "I commend the University of California's leadership role in expanding marine-related activities on the northern rim of the Monterey Bay Research Crescent. As our region is increasingly being recognized as a world center for understanding the world's oceans, we have a tremendous opportunity to build on our history of regional excellence," he added. "Last June we welcomed the relocation of the National Marine Fisheries Service's new laboratory to our community. This acquisition by UCSC creates an unparalleled opportunity for Santa Cruz, and our region, to welcome new partners that seek to understand the important role of our oceans."
A major national center for ocean and coastal research already is evolving at this site. In addition to UCSC's Long Marine Laboratory (LML) and the nearly completed Marine Discovery Center, other research facilities in the general vicinity of LML are the Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center, operated by the California Department of Fish and Game's Office of Oil Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR); the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) facility now under construction; and the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group (SCPBRG), which has become a resource to state and federal agency biologists, industry, and university researchers for problem solving and management of avian species, especially raptors. Construction will begin soon on a new facility for the SCPBRG next to the recently completed Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center. The new facility, funded by oil-tax funds, will support current SCPBRG activities as well as new research to improve the survival of seabirds impacted by an oil spill.
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