The Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC) is housed in a 47,000-square foot facility with 163 government employees and contractors doing research in sustainable fisheries, fisheries statistics, and protected resources. The facility is failing, the site is eroding, and the location is vulnerable to sea level rise and extreme weather. MAKERS conducted a study to identify potential project partners, evaluate replacement alternatives, and recommend a path forward.

Knowing that the SEFSC is highly collaborative and construction funding is limited, the team identified facility needs, discussed possible collaborations, and reviewed sites that could be leveraged to increase project feasibility. At its conclusion, the study recommended partnering with a similar federal research agency in Miami (Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory) and the University of Miami to create a fisheries-focused research campus.

This study had several unique components:

  • Expansive outreach to multiple federal, local, and academic partners in two cities.
  • A defensible but efficient and cost-effective analysis methodology that narrowed the universe of options, focused effort where most efficient, and ultimately identified a clear rationale for the recommendation.
  • Significant flexibility to respond to changing conditions. The study recommends two paths forward that allow the agency to respond to changing conditions without going back to the drawing board.


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

MAKERS Services

Feasibility Study, Stakeholder Outreach, Space Needs Analysis