City Council Regular Meeting


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Meeting Date: 04/07/2021  
From: Bill Peake

Direct staff to prepare a resolution in support of reuse of the NOAA building for ocean science, conservation, art, and public education, i.e. COAST proposal.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) building on Lighthouse Avenue, Pacific Grove, California will be put up for sale this summer by the federal government. The building, with sea murals by Guggenheim-honored artist Ray Troll, overlooking Monterey Bay and the Great Tide Pool, could be transformed into an environmentally appropriate public workspace and art gallery, enabling the convergence of cutting-edge marine scientific and technological innovation with ocean-inspired art and virtual reality.

Creative reuse of the Pacific Grove NOAA property gives Pacific Grove and the Monterey Peninsula a new opportunity to highlight ocean science, conservation, and art, while enhancing the area’s attraction to visitors as a world-renowned center for public education focused on the Asilomar and Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary. 

As envisioned a Center for Ocean, Art, Science and Technology (COAST) would provide:
  • A convening space for scientific workshops seeking ocean solutions to the some of the greatest challenges facing society, including Climate, Energy, and Food Security,
  • Gallery space to exhibit the ocean-inspired artwork of the region’s world-renowned artistic community,
  • Educational and outreach opportunities that immerse students and visitors in virtual ocean experiences unlike anything offered elsewhere in the world.
Key proponents of COAST are Steve Hauk, who envisioned COAST and is a Pacific Grove art dealer and writer, Dr. Charles Greene, Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Cornell University, and Darcie Fohrman who creates museum exhibitions nationally and locally.

Project Supporters include: Dr. Steve Palumbi, former Director of Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Station; Dr. Drew Harvell, Cornell Professor of Marine Biology and author of the award-winning books Sea of Glass and Ocean Outbreak; Dr. Kenneth Parker, climate change oceanographer and fine art photographer; Dr. Jennifer Carson, astrophysicist and former science museum manager; Dixie Layne, local historian, writer and board member of the Heritage Society of Pacific Grove; Moe Ammar, President of the Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce; Donna Gates, board member of the Heritage Society of Pacific Grove; Frank Miscione, artist and civil engineer; Rick Steres, architect, researcher and board member of the Heritage Society of Pacific Grove; Lisa Ledin, radio announcer for NPR’s KAZU.

COAST next steps are feasibility studies and budget projections including:
  1. investigate the possibility of acquiring this property,
  2. create a detailed plan for developing COAST,
  3. estimate the capital as well as ongoing operational and maintenance costs,
  4. develop community support,
  5. explore fundraising opportunities locally and nationally.
Provide alternate direction.
None associated with proposed resolution.
GOAL ALIGNMENT: Environmental Stewardship: Adopt and develop policies and ordinances that preserve and protect the environment.


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