The R/V Robert Gordon Sproul docked at the Nimitz Marine Facility. Photo by Chris Jennewein

UC San Diego officially reopened the Scripps Institution of Oceanography‘s 50-year-old pier in Pt. Loma Friday, completing a $20.9 million upgrade to make it home for four research vessels.

The R/V Roger Revelle, R/V Robert Gordon Sproul, the FLIP platform and the new R/V Sally Ride expected in September will all be based at the revitalized pier.

“Let me welcome you to America’s finest center for expeditionary marine oceanography,” said Bruce Appelgate, head of Scripps ship operations.

The research platform FLIP docked at the revitalized pier.

The aging pier was essentially demolished and replaced. “It was pathetic,” recalled UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla. “I was afraid to walk on the pier.”

The new Nimitz Marine Facility, he said, “is now well positioned to serve as America’s finest oceanographic support center for the next half century and beyond.”

Scripps Director Margaret Leinen said it is more than just a Scripps facility, but a national security resource, a host to visiting research ships and a global enabler of fundamental science on “this ocean planet.”

State Sen. Marty Block, who helped secure funding for the work, said the investment would result in “an incredible return for California” through future research.

Show comments

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.