Founded in 1970 by John H. Perry, Jr., the Perry Institute for Marine Science (PIMS) was created on the heels of John Perry's work with the Technology Panel of the newly established Marine Science Commission (1968 to 1970). Appointed to chair of the commission in 1968 by President Johnson, John Perry was instrumental in the creation of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA) and charting a course for the use, development and exploration of the oceans for the United States. Upon completion of the work of the commission, John Perry founded the Perry Institute for Marine Science, Inc. toward the fulfillment of these new national goals and dedicated his Bahamian island as a major research base.
In 1984, the Perry Institute for Marine Science created the Caribbean Marine Research Center (CMRC) to address the critical issues associated with escalating environmental degradation as well as other problems related to living marine resources and marine geological processes of the Caribbean, Florida and other tropical and subtropical regions of the world.
In 1987, CMRC was designated as one of six National Undersea Research Centers
under the auspices of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). As part of NOAA's National Undersea Research Program, CMRC is charged with the responsibility for support of undersea research throughout the entire Caribbean region.
Currently, the Perry Institute for Marine Science conducts and supports research across a wide range of disciplines to further understanding of marine ecosystems and to help private industry and public policy-makers effectively manage the use of the ocean's natural resources.