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Mote Restores Coral, Our Town Sarasota News Events

Mote Restores Coral

We’re so busy restoring coral… that we had to put our CEO to work!

Mote President & CEO Dr. Michael P. Crosby recently joined the hardworking youth divers of SCUBAnauts International to add about 1,500 new coral fragments to “trees” in Mote’s underwater coral nursery at Looe Key in the Florida Keys.

The team, which also included Mote Staff Scientist Sam Simpson, decked out 15 of these PVC trees with coral fragments that will be grown for Mote’s restoration and research efforts.

Mote scientists, with help from volunteer community scientists (citizen scientists), have restored more than 125,000 corals to Florida’s Coral Reef using diverse and stress-tolerant genetic varieties of coral. Many coral populations are in danger of functional extinction due to environmental stressors, including climate change and disease. Mote’s uniquely comprehensive, science-powered restoration strategy focuses on replenishing resilient reefs that can sustain themselves for generations to come.

Mote scientists are thrilled to partner with the teens in SCUBAnauts International, who represent the next generation of ocean-focused leaders, on the latest of many coral-focused missions.


New protections for sharks in Belize

Sharks are gaining increased protection and scientific attention in Belize, thanks to a team effort including government fisheries managers, fisherfolk, and scientists from Mote Marine Laboratory.

Sharks are important predators in healthy marine ecosystems, but they’re in trouble in many parts of the world, including many Caribbean areas. To improve shark management in Belize, the Government of Belize recently announced new regulations prohibiting shark fishing within 2 nautical miles of Lighthouse Reef, Glover’s Reef and Turneffe atolls—a total area of about 1,500 square miles. These measures stem from recommendations of the National Shark Working Group composed of government, shark fisherfolk, non-government organizations and researchers.

Dr. Demian Chapman, Director of Mote’s Center for Shark Research and member of the National Shark Working Group, has studied sharks and rays in Belize for more than 20 years, often teaming up with local partners. Now, a new initiative in Belize is combining fishers’ knowledge of how and where to catch sharks with Mote’s experience tracking sharks’ movement with electronic tags. Results will inform management decisions by Belize’s Fisheries Department.

To achieve more conservation successes like those already unfolding in Belize, Mote scientists and partners are leading an exciting new initiative called Expanding the Global FinPrint.

Read the full story


Video: Our big boy just turned 37!

Hugh, one of the two resident manatees in Mote Aquarium, celebrated his 37th birthday on June 28.

Lettuce wish him well and look forward to many more wonderful years. Hugh and his half-brother, Buffett, help our visitors learn about Florida manatees, how Mote scientists study them, and why we should help protect them. Hugh and Buffett are also specially trained to participate in their own healthcare and in research efforts designed to inform manatee conservation.

Video: See how Hugh spent his big day!


Support Mote with your vote!

Help us win $5,000 from Turtle Island Restoration Network during their 2021 Summer Sea Turtle Sustainability Grant Contest of 2021 by voting for Mote here.

Your vote will support our Sea Turtle Conservation & Research Program’s continued documentation of sea turtle nests on 35 miles of southwest Florida beaches, along with our efforts to educate the public about how to protect these threatened and endangered species. Mote’s Sea Turtle Conservation & Research Program focuses on understanding nesting trends and conducting other research to inform conservation of turtles that nest in Florida, particularly loggerhead and green sea turtles. The contest will run from July 1–18, so please vote soon and share with your friends and family!

Vote for Mote!


Early birds love Mote’s Rise & Shine Paddle

Start your morning with a Mote-guided kayak tour of Sarasota Bay. Paddle across shallow seagrass beds and take in the wildlife that depends on this dynamic ecosystem.

Ages: 12 and older; participants under 18 must by accompanied by a paying adult participant.

Time and date: Mote’s Rise and Shine Morning Paddles take place from 7:30 to 9 a.m. (check in at 7:15 a.m.) on July 6 and 20; Aug. 10 and 24.

Registration: Required at least 24 hours before the program begins.
$36 per person for Mote members, $40 for non-members.

Details & registration



Mote Marine Laboratory, Inc. is registered with the State of Florida #CH1050, under requirements of the Solicitation of Contributions Act.  A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Division of Consumer Services by calling toll-free (800-435-7352) within the state. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the state.