History & Location

How we came to be here

The Story

The initiative to develop the Noyo Center for Marine Science grew out of public and municipal efforts to diversify and revitalize the economy and community of Fort Bragg as the former Georgia-Pacific Mill Site redevelopment began.

Comprising over a third of the City’s total jurisdiction, including nearly three miles of Fort Bragg’s coastline, the redevelopment of the Georgia Pacific lumber mill site has been the focal activity of the City of Fort Bragg for a number of years. Through many workshops and meetings, the Fort Bragg community identified a marine science and education center as a high priority to anchor initial Mill Site reuse activities and help generate living wage jobs in the community. The Noyo Center Development will become a showcase for sustainable development on the Mill Site and around the community with a mission to explore our dynamic connection with the ocean and to inspire the next generation of ocean and environmental leaders.

Located on the rugged headlands along the coast of Northern California Fort Bragg aerial

Located in Fort Bragg, California, the 11.5 acre Noyo Center site is situated adjacent to recently protected coastal lands. Together the Noyo Center and Noyo Headlands Park will lead the redevelopment of a 400 acre former timber mill site spanning more than three miles of Fort Bragg’s waterfront.

The Noyo Center will be the only marine research and education center active year-round within a largely inaccessible 250 mile stretch of the northern California coast. The site is ideal for interpreting a spectacular array of marine and terrestrial habitats. Colleges, universities, and other agencies throughout the region are eager to conduct research in this location due to the abundant and diverse species assemblages supported by:

  • Oceanographic features resulting in significant ecosystem productivity in zones of upwelling, river-ocean interface, eddy formation (the large Mendocino Eddy), and two large underwater canyons (Noyo Canyon and Vizcaino Canyon);
  • A diversity of accessible marine substrates (rocky benches, surge channels, sand and cobble beaches, many off shore monuments).

Follow the link for more information on the Site Plan or click on the icons below to see some features of this beautiful location: