Dedicated to Annenberg Foundation executive director Leonard J. Aube, a lifelong scuba diver and professional marine photographer, the gift will be used to match, on a one-to-one basis, contributions in support of the AltaSea project, which, when completed, will serve as a gateway to the Port of Los Angeles and, according to Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, be a must-see destination for tourists. To be constructed on City Dock No. 1, the $217 million, thirty-five-acre campus will include a science hub that will be the permanent home of the Southern California Marine Institute, a business hub, and an education hub featuring an outreach center. According to the foundation, construction of the AltaSea campus is expected to create more than thirteen hundred permanent jobs and generate $290 million in increased economic activity in the area annually.
In addition to the $20 million challenge gift, the project has secured $26.5 million from the Annenberg Foundation, as well as donations from the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert and Crail-Johnson foundations, toward its $160 million funding goal, and expects to secure a total of $57 million in funding from the Port of Los Angeles. The lease for the site requires that $53.25 million be raised by the first quarter of 2017 for construction on phase one to begin.
"The only urban, ocean-based ideas and innovation center in the world, AltaSea will support new and existing businesses that commercialize scientific breakthroughs and emerging technologies to create ocean-related products and services," said a statement from the foundation. "It is uniquely positioned to address pressing environmental issues and will become a major force in the long-overdue revitalization of the harbor area."