In 1965, the Wrigley family—famed owners of the chewing gum empire and the Chicago Cubs—gifted 14 acres of land on Catalina Island, just off the Southern California coast, to USC to ensure the area’s preservation. Fifty years later, the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center is an important resource for international scientists conducting environmental research. Just in time for its 50th anniversary, the center unveiled a new facility for research into aquaponics, algae and shellfish culture. Here are some facts you might not know about USC’s facilities on Catalina.
- In 1995, William and Julie Wrigley provided the lead gift to establish the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies. The marine science center is the centerpiece of the institute.
- A hyperbaric chamber at the center stands at the ready to treat people involved in scuba diving accidents.
- Students can take non-credit courses there to become certified American Academy of Underwater Sciences divers.
- USC Wrigley-based research includes studies of ocean acidification, harmful algal blooms and sustainable food recycling and shellfish farming.