Congressman Panetta Announces $53 million in Federal Funding for Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

October 30, 2020
Press Release

SALINAS, CA – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) announced the distribution of a $52.94 million grant to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI).  MBARI will receive the funds through the National Science Foundation, which will be used to create a fleet of robotic ocean-monitoring floats to monitor ocean health around the globe.

“The health of our oceans has a direct impact on both the culture and economic health of our home on the Central Coast,” said Congressman Panetta.  “These federal funds will allow MBARI scientists to better understand and observe our oceans, which will improve our response to the climate crisis and the challenges it presents to marine life, ecosystems, and our economy.  This federal grant is a victory for coastal communities like ours and I look forward to the good work being done as a result of this grant.”

“MBARI has long been committed to developing new tools to explore and protect our ocean, both here in Monterey Bay and far beyond,” said Chris Scholin, MBARI President and CEO.  “Now, thanks to support from the National Science Foundation, the GO-BGC array of autonomous floats will provide critical information about ocean health, in near real-time, for use by researchers, educators, and policymakers around the world.  This innovative biogeochemical sensing technology, developed at MBARI, is transforming our ability to understand and predict how the global ocean is being impacted by climate change.”

Since 1987, MBARI has served as a leading an oceanographic research center based in Moss Landing where its scientists and engineers develop new tools and methods to improve our understanding of the ocean.  MBARI’s over 200 staff members play critical role in maintaining the Central Coast’s status as a center for innovative marine research and technology.

MBARI will apply this federal grant to its Global Ocean Biogeochemistry Array (GO-BGC Array) project.  Its fleet of robotic floats will collect observations of ocean health and make its data freely available in real time for researches, educators, and policymakers.  Such data can be used to improve fishery and climate change models as well as monitor the climate crisis and ocean acidification.