$1 Million Released for New Facilities for Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology at Coconut Island

University of Hawaiʻi
Posted: Aug 30, 2004

Gov. Linda Lingle recently released $1 million of a $2 million-capital improvement project appropriation made by the Hawaiʻi State Legislature in 2002 for the design of a new marine research laboratory building at the University of Hawaiʻi‘s Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) on Moku O Loʻe, also known as Coconut Island. The release of the funds for the building design is the first step in obtaining a new wet laboratory facility at HIMB.

"The university appreciates the support of Gov. Lingle and the Legislature, and their recognition of the important and ground-breaking research activities taking place at the Hawaiʻi Institute for Marine Biology," said UH Acting President David McClain. "New state-of-the-art facilities will allow scientists to not only continue this research but to also begin new studies that will aid Hawaiʻi‘s marine environment and positively impact the state‘s economy."

Current plans call for a new laboratory and visitor reception area that will include office and wet laboratory space with navigable water access, its own seawater intake, field equipment storage, and mooring for small boats. The new complex will also offer an improved gateway to HIMB and a comfortable and welcoming education center for use by Hawaiʻi school students as well as members of the public who seek information on the university‘s activities on Moku O Loʻe and general marine education.

"The faculty and staff at HIMB are in great need of new facilities, particularly to model the reef‘s ecosystem at a time when we need to preserve these reefs," said HIMB Director Jo-Ann Leong. "We are grateful to Gov. Lingle and to the 2002 members of the legislature who appropriated this money for their support and recognition of this cause."

The new facility will enable HIMB faculty to work collaboratively and efficiently, and it will be designed as a model of sustainable principles and energy efficient design.

"The new marine laboratory will be a model of sustainable design for marine laboratories that normally use large amounts of energy," said Leong. "The scope of work for the building calls for the incorporation of new technology that will conserve water and energy, and reduce waste production."

HIMB at Moku O Loʻe (Coconut Island) in Kaneʻohe Bay is a world-renowned research institute surrounded by 64 acres of coral reef designated by the State of Hawaiʻi as the Hawaiʻi Marine Laboratory Refuge. The island itself covers approximately 29 acres, with 6 acres enclosed in lagoons that are used for keeping organisms in captivity for study. HIMB provides research facilities for its faculty and students, who come from all over the world. Ongoing research at HIMB covers many disciplines of tropical marine science.

For more information, visit: http://www.hawaii.edu/HIMB