Puako Marine Center

Puako Dropoff
Puako Reef

Puako Marine Center has been a long term project, started in 1990 with and agreement with DLNR and UH Hilo, the development has continued steadily. The reefs off Puako are among the best developed and most diverse in all Hawaii, 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 students and faculty from the UH Hilo Marine Science Department and Marine Options Program for over two 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 research activities available nowhere else.

Academic and Research Facilities

photo of student with microscope
Puako Marine Lab Hale

The Center supports the academic activities of the Marine Sciences 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.

Plans & Designs