oceanclimatecentermjs.jpgA new science center opened at San Francisco’s Presidio today with the aim of gathering information about the effects of climate change on the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.

The Ocean Climate Center, a converted two-story building that was formerly the home of the U.S. Coast Guard commandant, will now be used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to gather and disseminate research on how climate change is affecting the sanctuary and surrounding marine areas, including San Francisco Bay, NOAA spokeswoman Mary Jane Schramm said.

“It’s like a nexus for communicating science among various agencies and various disciplines,” Schramm said. “And at the same time it will be kind of like a crucible for creativity and ideas for how we can develop community-based solutions for some of the negative effects of climate change.”

The 1,279-mile sanctuary is considered one of the most diverse marine environments in the world and includes several threatened or endangered species.

The Climate Center will have eight or nine staffers, including a climate change specialist, Schramm said.

It is not yet open to the public, but NOAA officials hope to secure more funding to add a visitor center at the site in the coming years, according to Schramm.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony, attended by U.S. Rep. Lynn Woolsey and NOAA Chief of Staff Margaret Spring, took place this morning featuring a long strand of seaweed in place of a ribbon, Schramm said.

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