Skip to main content

Wrigley Marine Science Center Turns 50!

2015 is the 50th anniversary of our Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island and the 20th anniversary of the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies. The campus of the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center is located at Big Fisherman Cove at the West End of Catalina Island.

IMG_8196The Wrigley family has a long history of commitment to USC and to conservation, and most of Catalina Island is protected as a result of the Wrigley family’s environmental vision. USC established the Philip K. Wrigley Marine Science Center on the island at Big Fisherman’s Cove following a grant of more than 14 acres of land from the families of Philip Wrigley and Paxson Offield.  In 1995, William and Julie Wrigley continued their family legacy by providing USC with the capital to initiate the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies. Their generous gift provided for an endowed directorship, an endowed chair and the renovation of the Wrigley Marine Science Center. Today, the USC research complex on Catalina Island is the centerpiece of the Wrigley Institute.


The center is also home to one of the regions only Hyperbaric Chamber.  The USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber  has been providing emergency medical  treatment for Southern California Divers since 1974. Without proper treatment, major problems from diving accidents, most commonly Decompression Sickness (the “Bends”) and Air Embolism, can lead to permanent disabling injuries and in some instances be fatal. In the Southern California area around Catalina Island, the combination of effective on-site management of a diving accident along with the rapid response by Los Angeles County Baywatch Lifeguards, or the U.S. Coast Guard, and swift, effective treatment at the Chamber can save a diver’s life.

The mission of the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies is to encourage responsible and creative decisions in society by providing an objective source of marine and environmental science and fostering an understanding of the natural world among people of all ages.

The  affiliated faculty conduct research in all aspects of the environment. Wrigley Institute scientists investigate biological adaptations to climate change, study interactions among humans and natural systems, and connect science to environmental policy. They also offer unique educational programming and work with foundations and the public to enhance environmental awareness.


USC Wrigley Institute maintains a state-of-the-art research center and teaching facility on Catalina Island, 20 miles offshore from Los Angeles, that’s available for use by USC faculty and students, researchers from other universities, conference organizers and a wide range of educational groups. The Philip K. Wrigley Marine Science Center offers the following:

Eight laboratories that accommodate up to 24 researchers and 60 students.

A full service waterfront to support marine-based research and education.

Conference facilities for up to 85 participants.

Housing for over 106 overnight visitors and meal services for up to 150 diners.

A range of housing options, from economically priced dorm rooms to elegant accommodations in the new Boone Center for Environmental Leadership.

The establishment and expansion of the Wrigley Marine Science Center, and its contribution to scientific education and research, are the result of the support and vision of the Wrigley Family and the backing of the USC College and the many USC donors who are committed to environmental research and education.  The Friends of the Wrigley Institute is an association of members dedicated to supporting the mission of the Wrigley Institute. Through their annual support, members of FOWI help promote the Institute’s excellence by providing vital support for the resources, student programs, faculty and other initiatives that make the Wrigley Institute uniquely positioned to play a leadership role in environmental education and research.

Members of FOWI enjoy special courtesies including invitations to events on both of our campuses, and opportunities such as mooring privileges at WMSC in Big Fisherman’s Cove, Catalina Island.

For more information go to:

As the owner of SABP Reprographics, I am proud to be a FOWI member and have enjoyed the many benefits of the  Wrigley Institute for over 12 years.