The Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island is a fully equipped research and education facility with a 30,000 square-foot laboratory building, a high-volume seawater system, a well-equipped waterfront, and housing and dining. The center offers researchers and educators access to the following facilities:
The labs have access to an unlimited volume of clean, high quality seawater for aquaria. The seawater is drawn directly from the Pacific Ocean and filtered through a macro-screen that covers an underwater intake. The water is not treated, so it's safe from ionic or chemical contamination, and it's stored in a 15,000-gallon tank to let suspended sediments settle out. The labs can draw seawater from the storage tank at a rate of 95 gallons per minute, and the water temperature is rarely more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit above the ambient ocean temperature.
The labs are close to a variety of near-shore and open water environments so they're ideally situated for marine research. Much of Big Fisherman's Cove is a marine life refuge: it has soft sediment, bedrock and boulder intertidal habitats, and subtidal kelp forest habitats, and a wide range of algae, invertebrates, fish and plankton live there. Deep water is accessible within a short distance from shore.