The Coastal and Marine Institute Laboratory was built on a prime coastal site at the old Naval Training Center, recently conveyed to SDSU by the City of San Diego. This laboratory, in concert with the SDSU-USGS Coastal Water Lab, is part of a “Coastal Zone Campus” on San Diego Bay which allows mutual access to and sharing of new and innovative research ideas and activities among SDSU, USGS, and MWWD. These activities bring together federal, regional, and local entities, and nationally known scientists and experts, in order to exchange information related to the coastal zone environment. CMIL offers opportunities for students and scientists to study the local marine communities in San Diego Bay and the surrounding coastal region, focusing on both applied and basic ecology in urbanized coastal ecosystems.


CMIL wetlab featuring tanks

CMIL wetlab. Photo credit: V. Compton

The CMIL boasts state of the art research facilities, catering to variety of research interests. Our facility includes:

  • 10,000 square feet devoted to outdoor aquaria
  • a seawater system providing a continuous flow from San Diego Bay
  • a large hall for classes, lectures, and workshops on resource issues
  • a complete boat maintenance and SCUBA diving facility
  • a variety of specialized analytical, research, and wet laboratories
Outdoor blue experimental mesocosms or tanks

Outdoor experimental mesocosms. Photo credit: V. Compton