Officials are celebrating the groundbreaking of a $15 million marine exploration center in downtown Santa Cruz that will allow visitors to look under the sea.
The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center is a joint venture between the city of Santa Cruz and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It will feature 12,000 square feet of interactive displays and video intended to educate the public about marine life in the Monterey Submarine Canyon.
Santa Cruz was chosen for the center after NOAA investigated 23 sites along California's Central Coast.
Monday's ceremonial groundbreaking largely for public officials will be followed by construction in the fall. The center is slated to open by summer 2012.