Sponsored by Oregon Business

Watch your back, Woods Hole

| Print |  Email
Thursday, August 20, 2009
woodshole
Iselin Marine Facility at Woods Hole
PHOTO BY WOODS HOLE OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTION

Add the facilities in Newport and Corvallis together, and Oregon is home to the third-largest ocean research community in the U.S., with a budget of about $120 million, says George Boehlert, director of OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. The coastal town of about 10,000 is a rising star in ocean research, behind only the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California in San Diego and Woods Hole, Mass., a Cape Cod village world-famous for marine research.

Newport’s research community leapt forward last month when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration signed a lease with the Port of Newport for a new facility, paid for by $19.5 million in lottery-backed bonds and $24.8 million in revenue bonds issued by the port. The facility’s economic impact is estimated to be $19 million per year, plus 50 to 100 construction jobs and a smaller number of NOAA jobs. Port manager Don Mann says building up the science sector will create high-paying jobs and diversify the economy in the long run. “We keep saying we want to be the Woods Hole of the West Coast,” he says.

Newport hosts researchers from OSU and at least seven federal agencies, making it more like Woods Hole’s multi-institutional community than San Diego’s university-based Scripps. Woods Hole is a coastal town with a small population that regularly swells with tourists, fishermen, second homeowners and oceanographers — much like Newport.

But Newport can’t exactly replicate the Woods Hole path to pre-eminence. Woods Hole’s science community developed after the U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries (now the National Marine Fisheries Service) was established in 1871, and started attracting marine biologists to the area who established more laboratories. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the largest of the 73 marine science firms in Cape Cod and its biggest employer with about 1,000 employees and a research budget of $129 million, was established in 1930. Woods Hole is also bolstered by its proximity to a host of top-rated universities.

One tangle in building an ocean research hub is that oceanographers can now do their work without the sea by monitoring satellite transmissions and even operating vessels remotely. Quick ocean access was a big factor in NOAA’s decision to move from Seattle to Newport, where the 30-minute cruise to the Pacific is a vast improvement over a lengthy slog through locks and Puget Sound. But a May 2008 report commissioned by the nonprofit Yaquina Bay Economic Foundation concluded that Newport must build high-tech facilities if it wants to draw oceanographers.

Newport’s research sector has grown rapidly in the past 40 years. But Bob Curtis, director of a Woods Hole nonprofit that works to maximize the research community’s economic impact, says it’s likely to be a long road to economic prominence. When asked what advice Woods Hole could offer Newport, he suggested patience.

ADRIANNE JEFFRIES
 

More Articles

6 development projects reshaping Bend

The Latest
Thursday, April 09, 2015
bendthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Bend has reclaimed its prerecession title as one of the fastest growing cities in the country.


Read more...

How a Utah-based essential oils company cornered the Oregon market

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Multilevel marketing, health claims and zyto scanner biofeedback machines: How dōTERRA thrives in Oregon. 


Read more...

Beyond Bodegas

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Five years in the making, the Portland Mercado — the city’s first Latino public market — will celebrate its grand opening April 11. A $3.5 million public-private partnership spearheaded by Hacienda CDC, the market will house 15 to 20 businesses in the food, retail and service sectors. It has some big-name funders, including the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and JPMorgan Chase. The project goals are equally ambitious: to improve cross-cultural understanding, alleviate poverty and spur community economic development. 


Read more...

Opening soon: 3 of the coolest new breweries in Oregon

The Latest
Thursday, March 19, 2015
brewthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

There are 278 companies licensed to operate as brewery, according to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Here are three new beer-making hubs slated to open soon.


Read more...

ZoomCare rolls out new on-demand health clinics

News
Monday, March 02, 2015
zoomcarethumbBY KIM MOORE |  OB RESEARCH EDITOR

Portland-based healthcare provider ZoomCare said it plans to “remake American healthcare” by expanding its on-demand urgent care model to emergency, surgery, dental and primary care, among others.


Read more...

Can small be large?

Linda Baker
Wednesday, April 01, 2015
040115-lindablogthumbBY LINDA BAKER

Leaders in Oregon's ag sector gathered this morning in Portland’s Coopers Hall winery/taproom to discuss the role of the region as an export gateway, impediments to exporting products and solutions to containerized shipping challenges.


Read more...

Grassroots movement pursues carbon bills

News
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
eventthumbBY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

A partnership of a grassroots environmental organization and a youth group is striving to build community and business support for carbon price legislation.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS