October 2015

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Green sea turtle nesting breaks local record, loggerhead nesting looks strong on Longboat Key through Venice

Photo credit: Marc Ellis, H2O pictures
During the 2015 nesting season that began May 1, Mote-monitored beaches from Longboat Key through Venice. We have hosted a record number of green sea turtle nests and potentially tied their past combined record for greens and loggerheads.

Nests in Southwest Florida continue to hatch, so it is important to keep beaches dark and clear of obstacles for hatchlings trying to reach the water throughout the season.

Rescued hatchlings in Mote’s area should be reported immediately to Mote’s sea turtle researchers at 941-388-4331.

Mote hosts 2nd International Workshop on Impacts of Ocean Acidification and Climate Change on Coral Reefs

The 2nd International Workshop on Impacts of Ocean Acidification and Climate Change on Coral Reefs was co-hosted by Mote Marine Laboratory and the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences (IUI) of Eilat, Israel. The Workshop took place at Mote’s Tropical Research Lab in Summerland Key, Fla. from Aug. 25 – Sept.1, 2015 and brought together participants from Cuba, Israel, Jordan, Italy, Guam, the U.K. and the U.S.

Ocean acidification (OA) is one of the greatest global threats to coral reef ecosystems. OA refers to the chemical reactions when carbon dioxide (CO2) is absorbed by seawater. This causes a water chemistry change often called the “osteoporosis of the sea” because it is expected to weaken and even dissolve calcium carbonate structures such as coral skeletons and mollusk shells, and it may affect a wide array of other marine animals and ecosystems.

Ocean Acidification Roundtable highlights emerging challenge for Florida waters

An “invisible” threat has begun to harm Florida’s marine resources — but the Sunshine State has unique strengths and opportunities to respond — said scientists, government officials and other key stakeholders Wednesday during a statewide roundtable on ocean acidification.

Ocean acidification (OA) is occurring due to increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, some of which enters the ocean, making seawater acidify. OA could cause substantial changes to the ocean, and as a result, affect people and communities that depend on a healthy ocean.

Oct. 3: Support Mote at the Second Annual Masquerade Gala
Enjoy an enchanted evening full of dancing and mystery while supporting Mote Marine Laboratory at the second annual masquerade gala, Bal Masqué: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. The gala takes place Saturday, Oct. 3 from 8 p.m. to midnight at the Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Avenue Sarasota, Fla., 34236.

Get ready for the night at the Harlequin Club VIP Party at Saks Fifth Avenue hosted by Sophie’s from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Harlequin Club provides exclusive access to Bal Masqué including tickets to the gala, a VIP lounge, private bar access and more. For each individual Harlequin Club ticket purchased online, SRQ | The Magazine will donate a portion of the proceeds to one of seven local organizations, including Mote. Guests can select Mote Marine Laboratory from a list on the drop down menu on the purchase page.

To purchase your Bal Masqué or Harlequin Club tickets visit www.SRQBalMasque.com

Volunteers needed at Mote: Learn more at a free coffee reception
Spread the word and learn about exciting volunteer opportunities at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium's free coffee reception.

Mote Marine Laboratory
and Aquarium WAVE Center
1600 Ken Thompson Parkway
(City Island, Sarasota)

Wednesday, October 7th, 9:00-11:00

Thursday, October 8th 9:00-11:00 Mote Presents: Ocean Technology with Guest Speaker Dr. Jordon Beckler
The Volunteer General Meeting in Sea Cinema presents Dr. Jordon Beckler, member of the Mote Ocean Technology group since February of 2015. Beckler earned a Ph.D. in chemical oceanography with a minor in inorganic chemistry at Georgia Tech, where he researched the redox cycling of metals and sulfur using in situ electrochemical analyzers and HPLCs during his dissertation research.

At Mote, Jordon is working on some exciting new projects for the Ocean Technology program. He also manages the SO-COOL Harmful Algae Bloom monitoring network of optical phytoplankton detectors and coordinates deployments of Slocum gliders around the Gulf of Mexico.

Friday, Oct. 23 is a Night of Fish, Fun and Fright at Mote!
Save the Date: Italian Night at Mote on October 22, 2015 at 6PM
Come join your fellow volunteers at a new theme party for Mote volunteers and spouses on October 22, 2015 at 6PM. Enjoy a taste of Italy with Italian food and music.

Please contact volcoordinator@mote.org for details.

Volunteer Opportunity: Mote Teach-A-Kid-Fishing Clinic
Date/Time: Saturday November 7; 9 a.m. to 12:30
Lunch: (included) Sponsored by Sarasota Sportsmens Association
Location: Mote Aquaculture Research Park, 12300 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, FL (7 miles East of I-75).
Ages: 5-16 (plus parents/guardians); Limit 120 children
Cost: $10.00 per child

Volunnteers will be needed for various event jobs. Educational stations include Spin and fly casting, Bait and Tackle, Ethical Angling, Gyotaku Fish Printing, Kayak Demonstration, Fly Tying, Pond Fishing and Tours of MAP.

Volunteer Opportunity: William R. Mote Memorial Snook Shindig 2015 honoring Captain Scotty Moore
Date: November 13-14, 2015
Location: Mote Marine Lab on City Island Park
Captains Meeting: Friday November 13, 6:00
Awards Ceremony: Saturday November 14, 5:30-9:00
Fishing Location: Sarasota Bay from Cortez to Venice.

Special catch, sample and release tournament to help document contributions to the fishery of our hatchery reared snook tagged and released into Sarasota Bay. Stocked snook, tagged with coded wire tags before release into Sarasota Bay, are the focus of pilot studies to identify stock enhancement potential and the best release strategies. Snook caught during the tournament are checked by Mote researchers, who recover tag data and use the information to adjust release protocols.

Volunteer Spotlight on Joe Mathis

Upon retirement, Joe Mathis discovered a new sense of purpose in volunteering. A fellow Rotarian suggested that he might enjoy volunteering at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium.

"I studied basic marine science, became an aquarium docent, then a guide trainer, a laboratory guide and a member of the lab's Speakers Bureau. The retirement void is filled with teaching others about the mysterious life beneath the sea and an appreciation for the wonders of nature. My sense of self-worth is restored, and I feel that I am making a difference in the lives of others."

Creepy Critters: Marine Life Surfaces for Halloween

Claws, spines, spikes, tentacles & fangs. Aliens, monsters, and ghostly apparitions glowing in the night. Marine life forms have some of the best looks for Halloween-no costumes needed. From freaky fish lurking beneath the surface to creepy crawlies of the deep, meet some the sea’s strangest and most haunting creatures.

Click the link below to read more about the fangtooth fish, the billowing red octopod and the vampire squid, as well as other ghoulish marine life forms.


An introductory course with emphasis on the local marine environment, Mote Research Programs, and the Aquarium. This course is for registered Mote volunteers only. This course is a training requirement for all Aquarium guides. The course is highly recommended for all other Mote volunteers. The Volunteer Manual will be used at MOST sessions and the assigned pages should be read before each lesson. A copy may be purchased for $25 (NOT A REQUIREMENT TO PURCHASE MANUAL).

WHEN: The classes will be held from Oct. 12 – December 2 from 9:00 a.m. until approximately 11:30 a.m., unless otherwise noted.

WHERE: WAVE Center (formerly Sea Cinema), unless otherwise noted.

QUESTIONS: Contact Volunteer Office at 941-388-4441, ext. 438 or ext. 852 or volcoordinator@mote.org

Founded in 1955, Mote Marine Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)3 research organization based in Sarasota, Fla., with field stations in eastern Sarasota County, Charlotte Harbor and the Florida Keys. Mote is dedicated to today's research for tomorrow's oceans with an emphasis on world-class research relevant to conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity, healthy habitats and natural resources.

Research programs include studies of human cancer using marine models, the effects of man-made and natural toxins on humans and on the environment, the heath of wild fisheries, developing sustainable and successful fish restocking techniques and food production technologies and the development of ocean technology to help us better understand the health of the environment. Mote research programs also focus on understanding the population dynamics of manatees, dolphins, sea turtles, sharks and coral reefs and on conservation and restoration efforts related to these species and ecosystems.

Mote's vision includes positively impacting public policy through science-based outreach and education. Showcasing this research is The Aquarium at Mote, open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 365 days a year. Learn more at www.mote.org.

Mote Marine Laboratory meets all requirements specified by the Florida Solicitation of Contributions Act. A copy of the official registration #SC01050 and financial information may be obtained from the Division of Consumer Services by calling 1-800-435-7352 within the state. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the state.