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Architectural renderings of the new Ocean Science Building at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The building will house a state-of-the-art education center and serve as headquarters of NOAA's Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.
The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary encompasses approximately 1,470 square miles (or 1,110 square nautical miles) of water surrounding Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel and Santa Barbara Islands, extending from mean high tide to six nautical miles offshore around each of the five islands.
On Jan. 11, NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco and the University of California, Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry T. Yang broke ground on the new 15,000-square foot Ocean Science Education Building on the east side of the UCSB campus. The project brings together the university’s Marine Science Institute and NOAA’s Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.
The Ocean Science Education Building will consist of new Channel Islands sanctuary headquarter offices and the Outreach Center for Teaching Ocean Science, a state-of-the-art educational facility.
In the first phase of the project, construction of Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Offices will provide 7,500-square feet of administrative office and meeting space to house 24 NOAA staff members who currently work at Santa Barbara Harbor. Construction, which is underway, is expected to be completed in 2011. The sanctuary also has offices at Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard, Calif., which will remain open, and will also maintain a presence in the Santa Barbara Harbor offices.
Construction of the project’s second phase, the 7,500-square foot ocean outreach center, will be made possible with private funds being raised by the university and/or sponsorships. The center will be an education facility supported by the sanctuary and UC Santa Barbara’s Marine Science Institute, engaging users in compelling, hands-on, standards-based programming on ocean science topics. It will provide interactive educational activities including live aquaria, wet lab, and immersive theater.