As the first major construction project for the Cal Poly Pier, the flowing seawater system represents a significant commitment to supporting marine research on the Central Coast. Since coming online in November of 2007, students, researchers and faculty have used this facility for a wide variety of research projects.
The facility houses spaces for both indoor and outdoor research aquaria. These areas are plumbed with overhead lines providing easy access to filtered or raw seawater and compressed air. Water tables and tank racks are available to accommodate tank set up. The system is a flow-through design supplying seawater at a rate of approximately 80 gallons per minute. Due to the high throughput, residence time of the seawater within the system is short. This ensures the physical characteristics (temperature, salinity, pH, etc.) of the seawater remain virtually unaltered from in-situ conditions within San Luis Obispo Bay.