Noyo Center Development

Redeveloping the Georgia Pacific Mill Site

Comprising over a third of the city’s total jurisdiction, including nearly the entire waterfront, redevelopment of the Georgia Pacific mill site has been a focal activity of the City of Fort Bragg for many years. Through many community workshops and public meetings, the community of Fort Bragg identified as a high priority the creation of a science and education center to

Noyo Center Design

Imagine a field station nestled into the landscape - a center at once quiet and serene, yet vibrant and energetic like the ocean nearby, embodying the soul of the Mendocino coast. Bauer and Wiley’s initial concept drawings of the Noyo Center reveal a haven where for researchers, students, families and visitors can explore the Mendocino coast and explore the connection between humans and the natural world. The Noyo Center features include:

  • Marine research center provides lab space, marine mammal trauma center, and lodging for visiting scientists.
  • Public interpretive center includes aquarium, tidal exhibits, and 73-foot articulated blue whale skeleton.
  • 11.5-acre site connects to shoreline and ocean habitats, California Coastal Trail, and 90-acre coastal park.
  • Campus is designed for net-zero energy and zero carbon footprint.

Current designs include:

  • A public exhibit hall and aquarium called the Discovery Center
  • Café, auditorium and gift shop
  • Research campus that includes a marine mammal rehabilitation center and housing for visiting scientists
  • The Whale House, that will showcase the Center’s feature exhibit, a rare blue whale skeleton, alongside other natural history specimens

Noyo Center for Marine Science: A New Nonprofit

The City of Fort Bragg has launched the Noyo Center concepts but does not intend to develop the Noyo Center. A new nonprofit organization has been formed with a growing Board of Directors and a new Executive Director. The Noyo Center nonprofit organization will launch a major fundraising campaign in 2014, initially focusing funding on the restoration of the blue whale skeleton and the next phase of design for the facilities. The nonprofit is also in the process of developing classroom curriculum with the Mendocino and Fort Bragg school districts and local private schools to use the whale as a means to explore many aspects of marine mammals, from form and function to behaviors and habitats, history and evolution.

For more information, please visit the Noyo Center website or email Sheila Semans.