Like many of its neighbors, VIMS is still working to restore, replace, and rebuild areas hit by Hurricane Isabel last September. The storm destroyed all three of VIMS’ research piers, claimed 18,000 sq ft of workspace, and displaced 34 scientific and support personnel.
“We’ve made a great deal of progress this spring,” says VIMS Director of Facilities Management Joe Martinez. “The finfish aquaculture building, submerged aquatic vegetation greenhouse, and sea turtle greenhouse are all operational. The seawater distribution system, required for research support, is back up and running as well.”
“The Teaching Marsh and Maritime Forest were open again for the public in May, just in time for Marine Science Day and public tours,” adds Public Relations Coordinator Susan Maples. “We owe great thanks to CCRM [Center for Coastal Research and Management] staff for their efforts to re-plant the vegetation that was lost to the storm and to re-landscape the area.”
Reconstruction of VIMS’ new piers will be completed by the end of June. Replacement windows for Chesapeake Bay Hall are scheduled to be installed by mid-July.
While some buildings are still waiting to be repaired, most of the reconstruction needed for continued research has been completed,” says Martinez.