March 05, 2004
According to NOAA Fisheries' Alaska Regional Administrator, Dr. James Balsiger, site preparation will start in late March and change the contours of the old gravel pit to accommodate new fisheries research facilities.
"I'm happy to see this project get started," said Balsiger. "NOAA Fisheries, the University of Alaska, the State of Alaska and the City and Borough of Juneau support this project, which has been steadfastly championed by Senator Ted Stevens. This will allow a stronger marine research presence in this state, which has half the coastline of the United States, plus 70% of the nation's continental shelf and borders one of the world's richest and most intact marine ecosystems. The facilities at Lena Point will serve as an Alaskan center of excellence in ocean and fisheries research."
Between 1992 and 2002, Congress appropriated $51 million to the Lena Point research facility.
The new NOAA Fisheries research facility will be the first building constructed on the site. The University of Alaska Fairbanks intends to build at Lena Point: all NOAA planning and site preparation will accommodate a future University of Alaska marine research building.
The new access road to the planned research facility, funded by NOAA and the City and Borough of Juneau, was completed in 2003.
The re-designed NOAA research building will accommodate 85 people, fewer than earlier planned. The new building totals 69,000 square feet of office and lab space.
Most NOAA Fisheries' Auke Bay
Laboratory activities will move to the new facility. Auke Bay
Lab will continue to support fresh water and mixed salinity marine
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