Our History

The AltaSea project began with a grant from the Annenberg Foundation to conduct a visioning study for the new home of the Southern California Marine Institute (SCMI), which was to be moved from its Terminal Island headquarters.  Work on the project initially focused on securing a 50-year lease with the City of Los Angeles.  The lease was executed and included a $57 million capital investment for site rehabilitation by the Harbor Department.  Soon after, AltaSea convened a group of top Los Angeles business leaders, civic leaders and philanthropists to create a Board of Trustees to oversee the organization, construction project and capital campaign.  AltaSea assumed its status as a stand-alone nonprofit corporation and the Board of Trustees approved the Gensler-designed campus plan.

  • 2023

    Groundbreaking for Center of Innovation

    In the works since the idea hatched in the early 2000s, AltaSea is using historic port warehouses that are more than 100 years old across from Warehouse One. The research, education and workforce/innovation center will focus on ocean-based solutions to climate change.

  • 2022

    West campus renovation begins

    Once completed, AltaSea will become an urban, ocean-focused institute where Blue Economy innovators work together. Inside the West Campus’ four warehouses, there will be 225,000 square feet of laboratories, research facilities, and hands-on educational and job skills development areas.


  • 2021

    $12 raised for the Center of Innovation

    AltaSea received $6 million in funding from the State of California which was matched by $6 million from the Port of Los Angeles. This will allow us to begin construction of the Berth 58 Center of Innovation!

  • 2020

    Project Blue

    The launch of Project Blue, a wide range of Kindergarten-College and community education programs including virtual classes and enrichment, live chats, webinars and internships.


  • 2019

    Bidding for development begins

    AltaSea began accepting bids for the development of site improvements, entrance facilities, wharf improvements and core elements of the AltaSea property.

  • 2018

    AltaSea takes possession of 58-60

    AltaSea successfully renegotiated our lease with the Port of Los Angeles and officially took full possession of three warehouses on City Dock No. 1 with deep-water dock access – Buildings 58, 59 and 60 – as well as a vacant parcel of about 1 acre next to Building 58.


  • 2017

    La Kretz Blue Economy Incubator and LA Waterfront STEM Education Network

    In December 2017, AltaSea launched work on the La Kretz Blue Economy Incubator, to stimulate startup business development.

    AltaSea and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Los Angeles Harbor signed a long-term agreement to combine vision and resources of the two organizations to bring future-facing education and job training to the region’s youth.

    AltaSea established the LA Waterfront STEM Education Network to offer hands-on workshops that inspire students with the potential of the ocean to meet society’s needs and the importance of STEM skills for the jobs of the future. Partnering with the Boys and Girls Clubs of LA Harbor, Ocean Exploration Trust and Los Angeles Maritime Institute we offer STEM classes for middle and high schoolers.

  • 2016

    Gensler design unveiled

    AltaSea unveiled the stunning architectural renderings for its 35-acre “campus for innovation.” The campus, designed by renowned firm Gensler, has already won the LABC Conceptual Design Award, Westside Urban Forum citation and Architectural Digest named AltaSea one of the nine “most exciting new projects” in Los Angeles.

    AltaSea and the Port of Los Angeles received a $3 million grant from the Economic Development Administration for infrastructure improvements.

    AltaSea took possession and began renovation of the first 80,000 square feet of warehouse and wharf space for the founding Sustainable Aquaculture and Blue Tech Clusters.

    AltaSea’s partner Catalina Sea Ranch took occupancy in Berth 58 as our anchor tenant in the Sustainable Aquaculture Cluster and Blue Robotics became our anchor tenant in the Blue Tech Cluster.

    AltaSea expanded its partnership with the pioneering ocean explorer Dr. Bob Ballard and his organization Ocean Exploration Trust (OET), providing STEM education programs to middle schools in the Central, East and South Districts of the Los Angeles Unified School District. AltaSea’s partnership with OET also led Dr. Ballard to choose AltaSea for the winter home of his research vessel, E/V Nautilus.


  • 2015

    Discovery Lecture Series launched

    AltaSea began partnering with Cabrillo Marine Aquarium on a bi-monthly Discovery Lecture Series.

  • 2014

    AltaSea becomes a 501(c)(3)

    AltaSea was incorporated as an independent nonprofit organization.


City Dock No. 1

The Port of Los Angeles City Dock No. 1, home of the AltaSea campus, was constructed in 1913 and successfully brought the Los Angeles waterfront to the international stage, with people, goods and ideas flowing in and out to the world.  AltaSea will build on that legacy. We invite you to join in the excitement and engage with AltaSea, so together we can create a lasting and positive contribution to the future of the ocean and humankind.