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South Coast university gets $60 million for ocean research

UC Santa Barbara has received a $60 million dollar gift for ocean research.
Frank Mckenna
UC Santa Barbara has received a $60 million gift for ocean research.

Goal of gift to UC Santa Barbara is to continue efforts to develop ways to deal with human impacts on world's oceans.

It’s one of the largest gifts to a university in the Tri-Counties in recent years. The owners of a Bay Area based software company have given UC Santa Barbara $60 million to support ocean research projects.

The money is from Marc and Lynn Benioff. He’s the founder of the software giant Salesforce.

The Benioffs gave $10 million in 2016 to UCSB, to establish the Benioff Ocean Initiative. It’s an effort to use science to solve some of the man-made problems facing the world’s oceans.

Among the technology developed is a filter now being used in eight countries around the world to remove and recycle plastics from rivers, while at the same time keeping it from flowing into oceans.

The $60 million from the Benioffs will be used to expand research, as well as to upgrade UCSB’s Marine Biotechnology Lab.

The couple has given hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years to social causes, including $250 million to a children’s hospital, and $60 million to fight homelessness.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.