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Southern California LE - Plan for biology research center unveiled

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 24th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Today, after three years of development, a plan has been released for a biology research facility that will have research vessels, laboratories, and a wave take on the San Pedro waterfront.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, CA (Catholic Online) - The City Dock One Marine Research Center, planned to be a 28-acre campus, would serve as the new home for the Southern California Marine Institute, which includes 11 college and university campuses. If approved by the L.A. City Council and the Board of Harbor Commissioners, the facility would share space with environmental groups, marine-related companies, and government researchers.

\"Our vision is for City Dock One to become home to a thriving cluster of university researchers, educational facilities and technology ventures that solves problems, creates jobs and improves the quality of life in Los Angeles and beyond,\" said spokesman Phillip Sanfield. \"This would be a cornerstone to the world-class L.A. Waterfront that is beginning to emerge.\"

Executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, Geraldine Knatz has led the planning for the facility since August 2009. The harbor commission agreed earlier this month to create a nonprofit group to raise money for the new lab, which is expected to cost $416 million over two phases.

The proposed plan is to equip the new research facility with classrooms, offices, labs, water storage tanks, a 150-seat auditorium, and an 18,500-square-foot floating dock to help small research vessels at Berths 56-60. The old Westway Terminal Corp. property, located at Berths 70-71, would be changed into a 50,000-square-foot lab for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and berths for vessels up to 250 feet long.

One of the main attractions will be a steel-reinforced concrete wave tank that would analyze the rise and fall of sea levels, sea shifts, and the effect of tsunamis on the ocean. The new facility would be a major upgrade from the SCMI's present 11,000-square-foot facility on Terminal Island

\"This is a completely unique project and our work on this is unlike any other marine lab we know of in the world,\" said Dan Pondella, the institute\'s board president and an associate professor of biology at Occidental College. \"It\'s a complete win-win for the surrounding communities, the harbor and the schools involved because it will be a job creator and an excellent teaching tool for students in our area.\"

On June 12, the project will be discussed during a meeting starting at 6 p.m. at the Port of Los Angeles Administration Building, 425 S. Palos Verdes St., San Pedro.

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