Southwest Fisheries Science Center Laboratory Replacement

New Site for SWFSC

New Site for SWFSC Headquarters Relocation

January 7, 2009
SWFSC Press Release

Project Description

This project will replace NOAA's current National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) headquarters in LaJolla,California. The existing SWFSC facility is at risk—as determined by several geotechnical studies. The facility sits atop a 180 foot high coastal bluff that is undergoing natural cliff erosion, withclifffailurebeinginevitable.Two of the four buildings are at imminent risk of failure: buildings B and C, constructed in 1964, are at risk due to their proximity to the coastal bluff which is retreating from erosion. Buildings B and C have been vacated to temporary off-site leased space.

NOAA's SWFSC performs critical missions—conducting scientific research on fisheries management issues that have extended social and economic impacts, including the following:

Southwest Fisheries Science Center Laboratory Replacement Project

New SWFSC Front Entrance (Artist Rendering)


The site for the replacement facility will allow NOAA to maintain its current partnerships and location with Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the California Department of Fish and Game, and the Inter American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC), by constructing a consolidated facility at a University of California, San Diego (UCSD) location. NOAA has executed a ground lease term sheet with UCSD and will be finalizing site selection and the ground lease documents by June 2009, following completion of National Environmental Policy Act analyses.

Project Schedule
Program Phase Schedule (Start-Complete)
Business Case/Site Analyses/ Programming 04 -11/007
Design 9/07 - 9/09
Initial Construction/Site Work 9/09 - 3/10
Construction/Occupancy 3/10 - 01/12

Project funding will be provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.