The Downtown Partnership’s highest legislative priority in the 2022 session was funding for the Environmental and Oceanographic Sciences Research and Teaching Facility on the USF St. Pete campus. The building will provide state-of-the-art research and instructional space for both graduate and undergraduate students from the colleges of Marine Science, Arts and Sciences, and Engineering.
We express our appreciation to the Florida legislature, the Pinellas County delegation and Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls for championing this project and providing a record setting $75 million to support this effort. This is the largest single award the legislature has ever provided for a USF capital project. We are grateful for our partnership with the Innovation District, with USF leaders in Tampa and St. Pete and the College of of Marine Science and the efforts of our government affairs team at Corcoran Partners who helped to advocate for this important project.
The new facility will house the Florida Flood Hub for Applied Research and Innovation. The building will also serve as a hub for researchers studying the effects of sea level rise, high-tide flooding events and other environmental issues in ways that are accessible to policymakers, planners, elected officials and the general public. In addition, a new data visualization center is envisioned to provide information that improves forecasting models, helps identify flooding hazards, and assesses their economic impact.
The project will complement other efforts in the Innovation District and reinforce downtown St. Pete as one of the nation's top centers for marine science, research, maritime business development and environmental resiliency. For more information please visit stpetersburg.usf.edu/eos.