As part of continuing efforts to strengthen and diversify maritime business in San Diego Bay, the Port of San Diego is pleased to welcome an ocean research vessel operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association at Crosby Street Pier adjacent to the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.

The Board of Port Commissioners, on Nov. 13, 2012, approved a 10-year lease, with one five-year option, to the General Services Administration (GSA), allowing for the berthing of the newest NOAA vessel, the Reuben Lasker, at the Crosby Street Pier. NOAA is expected to begin its lease in September 2013.

The lease is anticipated to create approximately 24 new jobs and generate an estimated $27 million annually in direct and indirect economic contributions.

"The home-porting of NOAA's new vessel in San Diego promotes the city's legacy as a world leader in marine science, education, and environmental stewardship," said Chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners Lou Smith.

The agreement strengthens and diversifies the Port's terminal operations, provides the Port the opportunity to partner with a well-respected and globally known fisheries and oceanographic agency, and strengthens and continues the Port District's partnership with another branch of the federal government.

It also provides the Port the opportunity to fulfill its goal of being an environmental steward and promotes regional partnerships with such organizations as NOAA's Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, World Wildlife Fund, Hubbs SeaWorld Research Institute, Sportfishing Association of California, and National Marine Mammal Foundation.

NOAA estimates that the vessel's annual operating budget will be approximately $6 million, the bulk of which will be spent in San Diego on fuel, supplies, food, and salaries. Other direct economic impacts to the region include multiple marine engineering support contractors for vessel repairs and maintenance.