The Pauley-Pagen Marine Laboratory

Moku O Lo'e (Coconut Island), Kaneohe Bay, showing the location of the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology facilities and the surrounding reefs.
(photo by Malamalama Magazine .)

In 1946 Edwin W. Pauley, a California oilman, bought Moku O Lo'e, also known as Coconut Island, located in Kaneohe Bay on windward Oahu. The Pauley family entertained presidents, royalty, and celebrities at the 23-acre paradise, complete with lagoons, fishponds, a natural swimming pool, a bowling alley, and living quarters. Pauley invited the University of Hawaii to establish a marine field station on the island to study coral reefs and tropical estuaries. In 1961, the World War II barracks in which the field station was housed burned down and Pauley paid for a new, state-of-the-art laboratory, the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB). The building was completed in 1965, at about the time a new interpretation of state law determined that the filled land on the perimeter of the island, where the HIMB was located, belonged to the state.

In the years following the death of Edwin Pauley in 1981, Barbara Pauley married William R. Pagen. Moku O Lo'e went mostly unused until 1987 when Japanese businessman Katsuhiro Kawaguchi bought the property. In September of 1994, the University of Hawaii Foundation purchased the private portion of Moku O Lo'e from Kawaguchi for $2 million. The purchase of the island and the building of a new marine science center and laboratory, the Edwin W. Pauley and Barbara Pauley Pagen Marine Laboratory, have been made possible by gifts totaling $9.6 million from the Edwin W. Pauley Foundation of Los Angeles.

In addition, the offices for the Center for a Sustainable Future (CSF), to be built on the island, will be paid for by the Pauley Foundation and other sources. The CSF is designed as a university-affiliated, private institution with the goal of bringing together first-class scientists, engineers, and economists to address long-range technological issues arising from the need to achieve sustainable development. Their focus will be on Hawaii, the tropical Pacific, and the Pacific Rim.

The HIMB enjoys a special relationship with the Pauleys, who have shown a commitment to marine research and education in Hawaii. Barbara Pauley Pagen has, for many years, been a sponsor of visiting scholars and summer study programs that bring scientists and students to Moku O Lo'e to study coral reef ecosystems, fish endocrinology, and shrimp biology. The new marine laboratory will further HIMB's reputation as a major center for marine science at one of the Pacific's best possible sites for marine research.

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This page was last updated Tue 16 Apr 96. Please send all comments to Brooks Bays .

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