Future Discovery Center

Community Learning Center

We envision the Discovery Center (5,600 SF) as the main public exhibit space accommodating up to an estimated 150,000 visitors per year. The main features will include:

  • Aquaria, interactive exhibits, and touch pools
  • Interpretation of sustainable design features
  • Discovery Cafe
  • Auditorium and small outdoor amphitheater
  • Gift Shop
  • Interactive courtyard and restored gardens
  • Living Roof


Upon entering the Discovery Center, 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.

The exhibit areas will focus on the dynamic land-sea interactions of the coastal ocean, as well as life under the sea.  When appropriate, the exhibits will illuminate the following:

  • The current state of the resource, organisim
  • Historic and contemporary human uses
  • Explanations of how resources are evaluated scientifically, including monitoring and restoration techniques
  • Options for desired solutions
  • Opportunities for public involvement


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.

Follow the link for the full Discovery Center Design Schematics, or click below for a quick look at the design drawings.