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The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) received the ceremonial key to its new marine facility at Pier 35 today from the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation.

The transportation department along with elected officials and UH representatives conducted a blessing and ceremony to formally convey the newly renovated Pier 35 facility to SOEST. The $17-million project involved partial demolition and renovations to the Pier 35 building. The UH Marine Center will relocate from its current location at Pier 45 of Honolulu Harbor by summer 2016. The move is part of the Department of Transportation’s Harbors Modernization Plan to increase container terminal space at the state’s busiest commercial harbor.

Pier 35

UH operates two major research vessels, the R/V Kilomoana and the R/V Kaʻimikai-O-Kanaloa, as well as several small boats, manned submersibles, remotely operated, autonomous and towed underwater vehicles and ocean gliders. Many of the research cruises and marine operations are done in collaboration with other specialized research groups and programs at UH.

“This is a new page in the centennial history of marine science at the University of Hawaiʻi,” said SOEST Dean Brian Taylor. “It’s a great day with a new facility, new building and a renovated pier.”

SOEST brings in about $100 million in federal and international research grants a year, of which about $10 million is used to operate the UH research ships. SOEST also employs about 1,000 workers through its various programs.

“Marine science is one of our core education and research programs,” said Taylor. “We’re ranked in the top 15 in the world in ocean and earth and atmospheric sciences. So it’s a key aspect of what we do.”

Brian Taylor, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology Dean; Senator Lorraine Inouye; Darrell Young, Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation Harbors Division Deputy Director; Kahu Hailama Farden perform the ceremonial untying of the maile lei at the new facility at Pier 35. (photo from the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation)

View the photos at the University of Hawaiʻi Flickr site.

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