SANTA CRUZ (KCBS) – A new visitor center showcasing Monterey Bay is getting closer to opening its doors in Santa Cruz. The facility, now under construction, is almost two decades in the making.

Back in 1992 President George H. W. Bush signed legislation establishing Monterey Bay as America’s largest national marine sanctuary. Now, a new center being built in the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf will help people explore that sanctuary.

READ MORE: Demonstration in Oakland to Protest Police Shootings Turns Violent

The two-story, $15 million visitors center is expected to open this summer.

KCBS’ Betsy Gebhart Reports:

READ MORE: Man Ripping Down Flyers Promoting AAPI Anti-Hate Rally Caught on Camera in Mountain View

“A lot of people come here and stand on our coast and look out at the beautiful bay, but they don’t really know what’s underneath the water. This exploration center will really provide a window for people,” said Santa Cruz Mayor Don Lane.

He said that Monterey Bay is really the equivalent of an underwater Yosemite, with its enormous canyons and abundance of wildlife.

MORE NEWS: Armed Bike Thieves Targeting Cyclists in the East Bay Hills

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)