UH Mānoa Gifted $50M for Ocean Sustainability and Resilience Research

AS A MAJOR BOOST TO ITS WORLD-CLASS RESEARCH EFFORTS ON OCEAN SUSTAINABILITY AND RESILIENCE, the heralded School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UH Mānoa) received a $50 million pledge from Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan in January 2022. 

“Hawai‘i 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 in a statement. “We’re honored to support the University of Hawai‘i’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.”

The gift, which represents the largest cash donation in UH Mānoa history, will be leveraged by the Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) to fund various research programs that will range from the monitoring of changing ocean conditions, developing solutions to support ocean ecosystems and marine organisms, and enhancing coastal resilience from storms and sea level rise. Known for its world-renowned research on coral reef restoration and ocean acidification, HIMB will also seek to expand community partnerships and indigenous resource management practices to educate and train future generations of coral and ocean conservation scientists. University of Hawai‘i (UH) President David Lassner called the Chan-Zuckerberg gift “transformative” and said it would allow the UH’s world-class experts to accelerate their conservation research efforts. Lassner added, “There is no place on Earth better than Hawai‘i to do this work, and no institution better able than UH. We could not be more grateful for the investment of Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg in a better future for all of us and our planet.”