Conceptual Plans

Coming Soon

We envision a state of the art, net zero engergy public exhibit space accommodating an estimated 150,000 visitors per year. Designed by Pfau Long, the plans will be unveiled later this year.  The main features of the design will include:

  • Exhibit hall with aquaria, interactive exhibits, and touch pools
  • One of a kind natural history exhibits, featuring a 73-ft Blue whale skeleton (story of our blue whale), and the world largest killer whale skeleton on display (story of our orca).
  • Ocean Immersion Virtual Reality Dome
  • Research and teaching lab space
  • Maker space and classroom
  • Discovery Cafe with dramatic ocean views
  • Auditorium and small outdoor amphitheater
  • Marine Gift Shop
  • Interactive courtyard and restored gardens


With access both from the road and the coastal trail, upon entering the facility, the visitor will be immediately surrounded by images and symbols of life on the Mendocino coast. Natural light will fill the building. Living organisms will entice the curious. Interactive exhibits will encourage exploration of resource connections to the environment, economy and culture. The general atmosphere will be designed to encourage the excitement of discovery. At least 20% of exhibits will be “rapid deployments” that change monthly to bring new research results from work done at the Noyo Center to the visitor.

Climate instability and its local effects will be integrated and highlighted in dynamic and flexible exhibits.  In all elements of the Discovery Center, visitors will be guided toward further resources for exploration and personal action.