Southern California Marine Institute granted new permit at Port of L.A.

Institute will conduct academic, marine and oceanographic research projects on Terminal Island.

LOS ANGELES—The Port of Los Angeles’s Board of Harbor Commissioners approved a revocable permit for Southern California Marine Institute, April 2. The permit will allow the Marine Institute to conduct its academic, marine and oceanographic research projects at the port’s Berths 259 and 260, which are on Terminal Island.

The Marine Institute will owe the Port of Los Angeles an annual compensation of $94,830 – $22,830 in actual rent plus $72,000 “as credit for in-kind services,” according to Port of L.A. staff.

Port district staff stated the Marine Institute paid $125,628 in annual compensation to the city, which included $20,000 payable in rent and the remainder in in-kind services. The Marine Institute, with the permit approval, will be paying an extra $2,830 in cash to the port district each year, during the length of the said permit.

“Market rent for the premises is estimated at $189,660 per year. Reductions in total annual monetary compensation is provided to [Southern California Marine Institute] in exchange for approximately $465,000 in educational community benefits and $33,000 in in-kind services to the city of Los Angeles Harbor Department,” port district staff stated in a report to commissioners.

In-kind services include educational programs for K-12 and university students, as well as $33,000 of in-kind services to the L.A. Harbor Department.
Demonstration cruises are one element of the Marine Institute’s educational program. Students, through the demonstration cruises, study the physical and turbidity properties of water and collect various organisms to better understand the ocean environment. Hands-on and practical learning activities in marine science are also offered by the Marine Institute.

The Marine Institute – referred to as SCMI by port district staff – operates a multi-campus research center and nonprofit oceanographic institution at Terminal Island. The institution supports various academic, marine and oceanographic research projects.
“The SCMI consortium represents a strategic alliance of 23 major universities, colleges and foundations in Southern California,” port district staff said in its report to commissioners.

Colleges and universities involved with the Marine Institute are: nine California State University campuses (Channel Islands, Dominguez Hills, Fullerton, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Northridge, Pomona, San Bernardino and San Marcos); University of Southern California, Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies; University California Los Angeles; Occidental College; and, Los Angeles Community College District.

The Bay Foundation and NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service West Coast Region are also affiliated with the Marine Institute’s operation.
“SCMl’s mission,” according to port district’s staff report to commissioners, “is to foster marine research and education, focusing on urban impacts of the greater Los Angeles region on the coastal ocean, to improve scientific understanding and the development of solutions that will enable coastal waters and watersheds to thrive, adapt, and become resilient to ongoing environmental stressors.”

The port district and Marine Institute began working together in 1995; the port district previously had a relationship with USC.

The Marine Institute occupies almost 71,800 square feet of Harbor Department property. More information about the Marine Institute is available online at www.scmi.net.

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