September 2015

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Member Appreciation Month – up next: exclusive early visit!

Mote's month of giving back to our Members kicked off with a big-screen showing of "Finding Nemo." True to the movie's motto, we will "just keep swimming" onward to the next free, Member-only exclusive.

Bring your Mote Membership card to enjoy a special, early visit before the Aquarium opens to the public.

> "Oh Baby!" exhibit open early Sept. 26
Members can arrive at 9 a.m. when our special exhibit "Oh Baby! Life Cycles of the Seas" is just waking up. Normal opening time is 10 a.m.

Shark tagged near Cuba phones home

(Photo credit: Discovery Channel)
The rare longfin mako shark satellite-tagged by Mote and partners near Cuba recently "phoned home" off the U.S. Atlantic coast.

The shark was tagged on Feb. 14 offshore of Cojimar in northern Cuba during the first-ever successful expedition to satellite tag sharks in Cuban waters. The expedition team hailed from Mote, Cuba's Center for Coastal Ecosystems Research, the University of Havana, and other Cuban institutions, and from the Environmental Defense Fund, which facilitates U.S.-Cuban collaborations in science and conservation.

> Visit this link to see where the shark ended up. Scroll down for the map. Our snowbird Members are gonna love this!

Youth Making Ripples, a free film screening
See films by K-12 students working to give our oceans a voice through the Youth Making Ripples Film Competition, which will have a free screening at Mote.

The screening takes place from 6 – 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 30, in Mote's W.A.V.E. Center (former Sea Cinema). Mote scientists Dr. Emily Hall, Dr. Erinn Muller and Dr. Kim Ritchie will be available for a mini Q&A session after the show.

The competition is organized by Beneath the Waves, Inc., a global platform focusing on ocean conservation, education and discovery works to raise awareness about marine issues, foster the advancement of science, and promote the protection of our oceans.

> Visit this link and then click the registration button to RSVP by Monday, Sept. 28.

Major ocean threat of "OA" takes statewide, international spotlight
The "invisible" threat of ocean acidification, or OA, has begun to harm Florida's marine resources and it poses challenges worldwide, especially for coral reefs.

Mote is spearheading several efforts to study OA — a change in water chemistry caused by adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. The Lab recently installed a brand new OA research system in the Florida Keys, and it recently hosted an international workshop followed by a statewide roundtable to help scientists, policy makers and others join forces to understand and address this invisible, but tough threat.

"If carbon dioxide had been orange in color and smelled like rotten eggs, things would be different," said Dr. Dave Vaughan, Manager of the Coral Reef Restoration Program at Mote. "If you tell people there is carbon dioxide affecting the oceans by lowering pH, they may not think of it the same way they think of an oil spill or another visible concern. But maybe the current research can drive home that OA is a reality today and not just a concern for the future."
You made a difference during the Giving Challenge.

The local community honored our oceans in a big way during the annual Giving Challenge in Southwest Florida. Mote received more than 200 gifts totaling $25,200 online, along with several generous offline gifts. We plan to tally the total funds in the coming weeks, and this year's total will be matched up to $40,000 thanks to two generous, anonymous donors.

This annual Challenge showcases the type of enthusiasm and generosity that our Members show all year long. If you want to show a little extra love but couldn't participate in the Challenge, just remember that our Oceans of Opportunity campaign runs through the end of 2015.

Save these dates for October
  • Night of Fish, Fun & Fright – Mote's spooktacular Halloween celebration for all ages. 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. (NEW TIME) on Friday, Oct. 23 at Mote Aquarium.
    View Details
  • Oceanic Evening – Mote's black-tie gala that gives back to the sea. This year's event will celebrate Mote's 60th year of world-class marine science and education – our diamond anniversary!
    6:30 p.m. Oct. 31 at The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, 1111 Ritz Carlton Drive.
    Visit this link to learn more and purchase tickets.

    For ticket and sponsorship questions, contact Stacy Alexander or Erin Knievel at 941-388-4441 or or

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

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.