May 2012 Edition
|Coral Restoration Under Way at Mote Tropical Research Lab • Mote Volunteer Wins Tourism Award • Mark Your Calendar for World Oceans Day on June 2 • Register Now for Summer Camps • Turtle Nesting Season Starts Early This Year • Students Paint New Turtle Mural in Mote Aquarium • Book Signing to Benefit Turtle Hospital • Did You Know You Could Have Your Next Party at Mote? •
Science Café takes on Begging Dolphins and Bad (Human) Diets
|Coral Restoration Under Way at Mote’s Tropical Research Laboratory
Erich Bartels of Mote Marine Laboratory gathers nursery-grown corals for replanting on a reef just off Big Pine Key in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary as part of the largest coral restoration project of its kind ever undertaken. Photo credit: Tim Calver, www.timcalver.com.
Scientists at Mote and other organizations are transplanting up to 10,000 nursery-grown staghorn and elkhorn corals to degraded reefs in Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands in the largest marine restoration project of its kind. Experts hope that the transplanted young corals will thrive and reproduce, helping to recover populations of these two threatened species.
NOAA-funded scientists with Mote, The Nature Conservancy and partner organizations began growing staghorn and elkhorn corals at eight underwater nurseries located from Ft. Lauderdale south through the Florida Keys and U.S. Virgin Islands in 2009. The project initially aimed to grow 12,000 coral colonies, but instead raised 30,000 of the fast-growing branching corals. Up to 10,000 of these staghorn and elkhorn colonies, ranging from the size of tennis balls to soccer balls, are scheduled to be transplanted before the end of 2012.
Mote Volunteer Wins National Tourism Week Award
VISIT SARASOTA COUNTY, formerly known as The Sarasota Convention & Visitors Bureau, announced the recipients of its 2012 National Tourism Week Awards on May 10. One winner is a Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium volunteer.
Nigel Mould, current volunteer and Past President of the Volunteer Board at Mote, received an award for Guest Service Excellence during the ceremony at Westfield Southgate Mall in Sarasota. Mould has aided in Mote research, provided excellent outreach and education as a member of Mote’s Speakers Bureau and as a Mote Aquarium guide, served as a leader among Mote’s volunteers and helped raise funds for the nonprofit Lab.
All National Tourism Week Award nominees were nominated by their peers and winners were voted on by a selection panel of members in the hospitality industry.
Sea turtle nesting season began slightly early in Mote Marine Laboratory’s patrol area — the first loggerhead sea turtle nest was confirmed on Wednesday, April 25 in Venice. The official season runs from May 1 – Oct. 31.
“Sea turtles don’t know when May 1 is — but they know the water temperature is warm and that’s one of the signals they use to know when it’s time to start mating and nesting,” said Kristen Mazzarella, senior biologist and volunteer coordinator for Mote’s Sea Turtle Patrol. This season marks the 31st year that Mote Marine Laboratory has coordinated sea turtle conservation on local beaches.
Mote’s Sea Turtle Patrol — a group of Mote scientists, interns and more than 300 volunteers — monitor nesting activity each day of the season on 35 miles of Sarasota County beaches. Mote scientists also tag nesting sea turtles for identification and use state-of-the-art satellite tracking systems to follow the turtles as they swim hundreds of miles in the sea.
More Sea Turtle News…
Students Dillon Endico, 21, and Matthew Decker, 21, did the mural as a volunteer project. “I grew up around the reefs in Key Largo and would see turtles there all the time,” says Dillon. “I’m very passionate about the environment and protecting it and about sustainability and this sounded like a pretty cool project.”
Matthew, who spent his high school years in St. Pete after moving to Florida from New Jersey, said he and Endico spent several weeks completing the mural after speaking with exhibit coordinator Holly West, who has been spearheading the exhibit redesign. “We talked to Holly a lot about what she wanted to show and then Dillon and I mapped out the concept,” Decker said. “Over the last couple of years, I’ve become more passionate about conservation and I hope to work on more projects like this in the future.”
Book Signing Benefits Turtle Hospital: Bestselling Author Mary Alice Monroe will sign copies of her new novel “Beach House Memories” during a special event hosted by Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch at 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 22 at Circle Books, 478 John Ringling Blvd. on St. Armands Circle. Purchase of the book includes the book signing, light refreshments and the opportunity to hear Monroe speak about her passion for sea turtles beginning at 5:30 p.m.
A portion of the proceeds will support Mote’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital, which has treated more than 398 endangered and threatened sea turtles since 1995.”Beach House Memories” is the prequel to Monroe’s New York Times bestsellers “The Beach House” and “Swimming Lessons.” Monroe, who volunteers in sea turtle conservation efforts on Isle of Palms, S.C., is currently on a book tour that includes selected signing events designated as fundraisers benefiting local sea turtle hospitals.
World Oceans Day Festival June 2 at Mote Aquarium Offers “Oceans of Inspiration”
A worldwide ocean celebration is on the horizon — join the fun during the World Oceans Day Family Festival from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 2 at Mote Aquarium. Cost is free with regular admission (Mote Members always get in free).
Mote’s World Oceans Day event, presented by IKEA, will feature the Dr. Seuss Theme “Oceans of Inspiration” and include games and crafts focused on green practices, marine science and conservation by Mote and other local organizations.Additional sponsors include Winn Dixie, IBC (Insurance and Benefit Consultants), the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals Group. National sponsors are the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, The Ocean Project, Dr. Seuss and Random House Children’s Books.
Each year, millions of visitors travel to Sarasota to enjoy its beautiful beaches and exotic and fascinating marine life.At Mote Aquarium, we showcase the best that the region has to offer in several unique settings perfect for your wedding or other special event — venues that don’t require you to get wet to have a great time!
Mote Aquarium is one of Sarasota’s premier attractions, hosting more than 300,000 visitors each year. Our venues offer you and your guests a departure from the ordinary with spectacular animal exhibits and breathtaking views.
Our waterfront location showcases everything that is special about Sarasota and her islands.
Bad eating habits and poor nutrition are an issue with America’s youth… and Sarasota Bay dolphins?
Join us from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday June 7as we explore nutrition in humans and dolphins during the next Science Café sponsored by Mote Marine Laboratory. Mote Science Café’s are informal, community discussions that give everyone the chance to participate.
The Café will feature Dr. Katie McHugh, a researcher with the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, a partnership of the Chicago Zoological Society and Mote, and Adriel Zahniser, a registered dietitian working for Sarasota County Schools as a nutrition educator and chef.
The Dolphin Research Program conducts the world’s longest-running study of a wild dolphin population and, through her research, McHugh has documented numerous human interactions of a dolphin nicknamed “Beggar.” Beggar is notorious for his unhealthy and dangerous relationship with humans who illegally feed him. Zahniser teaches area youth about healthy eating habits and nutrition.
|About Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium
Founded in 1955, Mote Marine Laboratory is an independent nonprofit (501(c)3) marine research organization based in Sarasota, Fla., with field stations in eastern Sarasota County, Charlotte Harbor and the Florida Keys. Donations to Mote are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.We are dedicated to today’s research for tomorrow’s oceans through the study of marine and estuarine ecosystems, through our public Mote Aquarium and through an education division that provides unique programs for all ages. Mote scientific research focuses on sharks, sea turtles and marine mammals, coral reefs, the study of toxins in the environment and their effect on human health, aquaculture, coastal ecology and fisheries enhancement. Showcasing this research is Mote Aquarium, open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 365 days a year. Learn more at www.mote.org. Contact: Mote Marine Laboratory, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236. (941) 388-4441 or email@example.com.