City, university splitting former NOAA lab

City, university splitting former NOAA lab

The University of Alaska Southeast and the City and Borough of Juneau Docks &Harbors are both getting what they want.

The two sides both sought to take over the Auke Bay Marine Station, and this week they have signed an agreement to split the facility.

“This agreement between UAS and CBJ to partition the Auke Bay Marine Station property is good for Juneau because it both supports marine education and research at UAS, and allows for future harbor expansion,” UAS Chancellor Rick Caulfield said in a release. “This is a ‘win-win’ for all involved.”

UAS plans to use the lab for research and educational programs, while Docks &Harbors looks to use the facility to improve Don D. Statter Harbor at Auke Bay with enhanced moorage and a larger breakwater. According to the release, the General Services Administration has set a goal to turn over the property Nov. 1.

Now, the agreement goes to the federal government, which currently owns the property. The Auke Bay Marine Station is the original location of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Auke Bay Laboratories. Research has slowly moved from Auke Bay to the Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute in Lena Point, so the Auke Bay location was put up for surplus in 2016.

Both CBJ and UAS submitted proposals to acquire the facility, and the federal government identified both applications as “benefiting the public and eligible to receive the property and its facilities free of cost,” per the release. Since then, the two sides have been negotiating an agreement on how to split it.