NOAA held a blessing and dedication ceremony for its NOAA Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center (IRC) located on Ford Island in Honolulu on Monday morning, December 16. The ceremony started with the Punahou School Choir singing the National Anthem and Hawai‘i Pono‘ī and then Kahu David Ka‘upu gave an invocation and blessed the facility. Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator; Mrs. Irene Hirano Inouye, the late senator’s wife; Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell; and U.S. Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa untied a maile lei signifying the opening of the IRC. Following the ceremony, guests were given guided tours of the new facility.
In January 2013, the facility was named in Senator Inouye’s honor, in recognition of his significant contribution to ocean and environmental issues and his steadfast support for the construction of the regional center. The late Senator Inouye, with support from the Hawai’i Congressional delegation and the state of Hawai’i, led the effort to redevelop Ford Island and secure the necessary funding for a world class facility to support NOAA’s science, service and stewardship mission in the Pacific Region.