Mote Marine Laboratory is known for its marine life research throughout Sarasota County, with additional campuses in Boca Grande and the Florida Keys. Founded in 1955 by Dr. Eugenie Clark under the name of the "Cape Haze Marine Laboratory," today the laboratory is an independent,not-for-profit, marine research organization.
In recent years space has become a problem for Mote Marine, which has lead Michael Crosby Mote's President to develop a plan for a 110,000-square-foot state of the art aquarium, on a five acre parcel at Nathan Benderson Park. Adjacent to I-75 and conveniently located between both Manatee and Sarasota Counties, the new aquarium will be an iconic science facility like no other in the world. The new aquarium will be double the size of the present one on City Island, with 1 million gallons of exhibit water featuring sharks, manatees, sea otters, jellyfish and other species.There will be an continued emphasis on educational related activities, as well as continued marine research on subjects such as red tide, manatees and coral restoration.
Mote Marine hopes to relocated to the new aquarium by late 2021. The cost of construction will total $130 million, but Mote Marine has already secured $28 million in private donations and corporate sponsorships. The project will continue to be funded by an effort called Oceans for All: Improving Access to Marine Science & Technology. The Sarasota County Commission has already approved the terms of the agreement to let Mote Marine build on the land adjacent to Nathan Benderson Park. One thing that all involved in this project can agree on, is the benefits to marine and science life the new facility will add to our thriving community.