MOSS LANDING, Calif. -

In 1966 Moss Landing Marine Laboratories was just a small field station. Fifty years later, it's grown into one of the most reputable marine science institutions.

"A lot of our work is really related to trying to understand what humans have done to the ocean and how we might be able to mitigate that and make it better,” said Jim Harvey, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories Director.

Inside and out in the field, they're conducting innovative and in depth research methods, from climate change to whale tagging and everything in between. They're even turning to sediments to learn about the oceans past. Researchers are using a fog collector to learn how mercury gets from the oceans to land.

"We've made a unique discovery and that is that fog water contains up to 100 times more methyl mercury than does rain water," said Dr. Kenneth Coale, Professor at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories.  

Major accomplishments from the lab include more than 600 graduates with a masters in marine biology, understanding environmental contaminants and discovering that iron could limit productivity in the ocean.

"National Science Foundation claimed that it was one of the most important discoveries in oceanography in the last 100 years,” said Harvey.

The research being done on the Monterey Bay will have a global impact.

"We work in the Antarctic and the Artic,” said Harvey. "In the Indian Ocean, in the Pacific Ocean, all over."

There is still a lot of work to be done. The lab is currently working on a new aquaculture program where they're studying and growing fresh, sustainable seafood.

"Aquaculture is going to be huge,” said Dr. Michael Graham with the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. “Right now 50% of all seafood eaten in the world is coming from aquaculture and that number is increasing exponentially.