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University of Hawaiʻi ocean conservation research receives $50M from Mark Zuckerberg, Priscilla Chan

Mark Zuckerberg, Priscilla Chan facebook
Peter Barreras/Peter Barreras/Invision/AP
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Invision
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan arrive at the 7th annual Breakthrough Prize Ceremony at the NASA Ames Research Center on Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, in Mountain View, Calif. (Photo by Peter Barreras/Invision/AP, File)

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa's School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology announced a seven-year $50 million gift from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan.

It will support various research groups within the university's Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology.

In a news release, the university said the gift will fund research and programs that document changing ocean conditions, explore solutions to support healthier ocean ecosystems, enhance coastal resilience from storms and sea-level rise, and tackle challenges to marine organisms ranging from the tiniest corals to the largest predators.

“Hawaiʻi has one of the richest marine ecosystems in the world — and having a deeper understanding of this ecosystem is the key to preserving and protecting it,” said Zuckerberg and Chan. “We’re honored to support the University of Hawaiʻi’s conservation efforts, including their trailblazing research on coral reef restoration, the impact of climate change on coastal waters, and other areas related to the health of our oceans."

Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology Director Eleanor Sterling said, “This generous gift is a wonderful opportunity to support the much-needed interdisciplinary work that will help us to better understand ocean systems and Indigenous management strategies and to develop effective approaches for ocean conservation."

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