Puako Marine Center

Puako Marine Lab

The Puako Marine Center has been a long-term project, started in 1990 with an agreement with DLNR and UH Hilo to build a facility for marine science teaching and research. The reefs off Puako are among the best developed and most diverse in all Hawai'i, making the site one of the most important locations in the world for coral reef studies. Significant research has been conducted in the area by undergraduate students and faculty from UH Hilo Marine Science Department and Marine Options Program for over three decades.

The site will provide the perfect field station for the study of water quality and coral reef conservation and management and will be one of the few labs in the country dedicated to ocean research activities in which undergraduates are the primary participants. With the academic support of UH Hilo, the laboratory will provide a wide range of educational and researach activities available nowhere else.

Reef Wall
Puako Reef Wall

Academic and Research Facilities

The Center supports the academic activities of the Marine Science Department and the Marine Option Program. In addition, field operations by researchers from the University of Hawai'i as well as other universities will use the facility as a base for conducting research on the Kohala coast.