Marion Science & Field Operations Center will support Bay science, land protection, and outdoor engagement
At a ceremony and open house this month in Marion, the Coalition celebrated the completion of its newest permanent facility: a field operations center that will serve as the centerpiece for our extensive environmental science and land stewardship work.
Located at the corner of Spring Street and Route 6, the Marion Science and Field Operations Facility will support the Coalition’s diverse field operations – from water quality to land stewardship to outdoor exploration – all from Marion’s “front door.”
“The Science and Field Operations Center is a major leap forward in our ability to protect clean water in all Buzzards Bay communities,” said Coalition President Mark Rasmussen. “It’s a deep investment in the Coalition’s long-term success, and we’re proud that this newest home of ours is located in the town of Marion.”
Over the course of a generation, the Coalition has grown to become the region’s leader in land and water conservation. The New Bedford-based nonprofit has protected more than 8,000 acres of land, monitors 250 water quality stations throughout Buzzards Bay and Vineyard Sound, and hosts thousands of people each year at outdoor exploration programs. All of this work requires equipment, from boats and buoys to mowers and waders.
With the opening of the Science and Field Operations Center, Marion is now the hub for scientific data collection for all of Buzzards Bay. The center will be home to the Coalition’s long-running Baywatchers water quality monitoring program and its vessel, the R/V Buzzards Baykeeper®, which collect and analyze Bay health data from Sakonnet Point to Woods Hole.
On the land, the Marion facility will support the Coalition’s commitment to keep its public reserves in Acushnet, Fairhaven, Mattapoisett and Wareham well cared for. These protected lands are all located within eight miles of Marion, making it an ideal launching point for daily land management.
An exceptional design, engineering and project management team oversaw the creation of the Science and Field Operations Center. Renowned Falmouth-based Hutker Architects joined Marion’s own Foth-CLE Engineering and Lars Olson to bring quality design and construction to one of the town’s most prominent intersections. Construction was by The Valle Group of Falmouth.
“Our company was fortunate to have partnered with the Buzzards Bay Coalition and Hutker Architects in creating a building that will not only serve to support the Coalition’s expanding needs and its vital mission, but also in enhancing a key gateway to the town of Marion with a signature structure,” said Joe Valle, CEO of The Valle Group.