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Center to be renamed in honor of Sen. Inouye

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 01:53 p.m. HST, Feb 06, 2013

 20120221-9676 CTY NOAA A blessing ceremony was held on the state of the art Marine Science and Storage Facility.  Ceremony took place near the USS Utah Memorial, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Ford Island.  Facility is second phase of NOAA's Pacific Regional Center.  It includes a 1,500 deep salt-water well for cooling needs and support of 15 marine tanks.  Four tanks are for turtles, 2 for corals, three tanks for fish, 3 for monk seals and one for a quarantine tank.  Facility will enable NOAA and scientific partners to conduct critical marine research and provide a site to rehabilitate endangered Hawaiian monk seals and various green sea turtles.  Steve Gallagher (Site Manager, Pacific Region Center), RDML Katherine Gregory (Commander, NAVFAC Pacific, Dr. Jane Lubchenco (Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere NOAA Administrator), Senator Daniel Inouye, U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, U.S. Rep.Colleen Hanabusa and Gov. Neil Abercrombie were at the ceremony.  This is an artist rendering of the facility.  PHOTO BY DENNIS ODA.  FEB. 21, 2012.

The Pacific Regional Center, which will house Hawaii operations of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will be renamed the Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center.

The center on Ford Island will house NOAA offices for the weather service, tsunami warning center, fisheries, sanctuaries, marine operations and enforcement. Inouye, who died in December, was an advocate for the center.

“Dan would be humbled by this kind gesture and I am very pleased that he was able to work with NOAA and the U.S. Navy to build his vision. The PRC will greatly improve the interoperability of NOAA’s assets in the Pacific and will contribute to the safety and health of Hawaii’s communities and precious ecosystems,” Irene Hirano Inouye, Inouye’s widow, said in a statement.

Hawaii officials are debating whether to name other local institutions in Inouye’s honor.

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