An estimated $6.6 million from a variety of grants helped fund the facility, which will be the easternmost marine research laboratory and education center in the United States. Among other things, the island complex will include an 18-bed residence hall for researchers, conference rooms, touch tanks for kids, office space and wet labs.
"It's taken us 18 years to get to this point," Research Director Brian Beal said. "We never gave up but we've had an awful lot of rejections and things like that along the way."
A ribbon cutting ceremony for the marine lab is set for Aug. 11.