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Mote Marine Laboratory

Governor Rick Scott says Florida is putting an additional $2.2 million  toward combating red tide. The funding will go to Mote Marine Laboratory to develop new technology.

Jessica Meszaros / WUSF Public Media

State wildlife officials reported this past Friday that elevated levels of the organism Karenia brevis are persisting along Florida's gulf coast, which is creating toxic red tide algae blooms from Pinellas County down to Collier County.

Mote Marine Laboratory

The federal government, with the help of Mote Marine Laboratory, is continuing to investigate a significant spike in dolphin deaths in the Gulf of Mexico -- and they want to know if red tide is playing a part in it.

Courtesy Conor Goulding / Mote Marine Laboratory

Officials say two pygmy killer whales have died a week after being found distressed in shallow waters off Sand Key.

Mote Marine Laboratory spokeswoman Stephannie Kettle says one of the females, Lightning, died Wednesday, and the other, Thunder, died Thursday.

FWC/Flickr

It's been a long time since Florida's Gulf Coast has seen a red tide outbreak this severe.

Florida this week declared a state of emergency because of a slow-moving natural disaster — red tide.

Red tide is toxic algae that have persisted off Florida's Gulf Coast for nearly a year. In recent weeks, the algae bloom has worsened, killing fish, turtles and dolphins and discouraging tourism on some of the state's most beautiful beaches.

Scott Directs Money To Help Fight Red Tide

Aug 14, 2018

Gov. Rick Scott issued an emergency order Monday and provided $1.5 million to help clean up water and bring back tourists to Southwest Florida after the latest outbreak of red tide. 

Mote Marine Laboratory

Sea turtle deaths continue to increase as red tide lingers off Florida's southwestern coast. While the numbers remain steady in Charlotte, Lee and Collier counties, Sarasota is experiencing a spike in cases. 

Courtesy Rebecca Mensch at Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

A dead whale shark washed ashore this past weekend in Sanibel Island. Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium scientists say it is not one of the two whale sharks they tagged in June.

Conor Goulding/Mote Marine Laboratory

An increase in whale shark sightings off the coast of Sarasota is helping Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium scientists learn more about them.

Courtesy of Jacob Campoamor

In a rare sighting last weekend, boaters spotted multiple whale sharks off the coast of Anna Maria Island.

That has grabbed the attention of scientists at the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium in Sarasota, who are now asking the public to report other sightings.

FWC

Some of the first sea turtle nests of 2018 are already being discovered by Mote Marine Laboratory’s Sea Turtle Patrol. That’s right. The turtles are coming.

But it isn’t unusual for sea turtle nesting season to begin early, which officially runs May 1 to Oct. 31.

Conor Goulding / Mote Marine Laboratory

Florida beachgoers often imagine a day on the water. Colorful umbrellas peppered across the sand, the sound of waves foaming as they crash onto the shore and the inescapable smell of saltwater nipping at your senses.

Sometimes, instead of this picturesque scene, a sickening odor of dead fish wafts across empty beaches, local restaurants are closed because they can’t prepare seafood, and residents even experience trouble breathing. The culprit is red tide.

Renderings provided by CambridgeSeven

Mote Marine Laboratory announced plans Thursday to build a new aquarium alongside Interstate 75 in Sarasota. It's been in the works for five years. It's planned for Nathan Benderson Park, at Interstate 75 and University Parkway. The four-story building would be double the size of the existing aquarium.

Warming temperatures and ocean acidification are significant threats to coral reefs, but a new study by Mote Marine Laboratory researchers last month provides something of a silver lining.   Researchers found that ocean acidification could actually help slow the progression of a disease that kills corals.

Joe Berg/Way Down Video - Courtesy Mote Marine Laboratory

Mote Marine Laboratory has announced it has raised more than $50 million in the Sarasota laboratory's first comprehensive fundraising campaign. President and CEO Michael Crosby said the money will be used for long-term sustainable projects to help preserve unique marine life.

Local scientists are studying the long-term effects of the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s part of an international research project. It’s been six years since more than three-million barrels of oil poured into the gulf.

  Thawing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba is allowing researchers with Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota to expand their coral research and possibly improve the health of Florida’s coral reef tract. 

Juvenile sturgeon
Steve Newborn / WUSF News

The newest food gracing high-end retail stores comes from an area known more for cattle ranches and citrus groves than sturgeon. We go to an experimental farm far inland from the Gulf of Mexico, where a treat many of us have never tasted is being raised.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

That fish gracing your dinner table now is either caught in the wild - or raised in offshore cages. But with demand growing, researchers are looking for new alternatives to raise food. We take a tour of an experimental farm run by Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota. There, fish - and vegetables grown using fish waste - are being raised far inland from the Gulf of Mexico. 

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

The next phase in a multi-year study to look at the effect oil has on fish will begin Wednesday at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota.

WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with two scientists who are involved in the study, Dana Wetzel of Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota and Ben Prueitt of the C-IMAGE research consortium.

The study could have lasting impacts on our knowledge of how oil and dispersants used during the BP spill affects life in the Gulf of Mexico.

Eugenie Clark, Sarasota's 'Shark Lady,' Dies

Feb 25, 2015

At nationalgeographic.com, photographer David Doubilet described her as a larger-than-life character. “Her contributions were astounding,” Doubilet said. “She never outgrew this absolute fascination of looking and seeing and observing under water. Even when I was a younger man and she was older, I couldn’t keep up with her. She moved with a kind of liquid speed underwater.” Before Clark began her research on sharks in the 1950s, the animals were considered both dumb and deadly. "After some study," she said, "I began to realize that these 'gangsters of the deep' had gotten a bad rap."

Victor Habbick / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Here's a troubling statistic: Of the 63,837 species worldwide that have undergone population assessments, 19,817 — or one out of three — are threatened with extinction.

That's according to Sarasota's Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. But the lab isn't taking these numbers lying down. 

This week, Mote announced that it will host a new coalition of aquariums, zoos and governmental and non-governmental organizations to address the needs of sea turtles, sea birds and other vulnerable marine life.

That stinging feeling that sometimes accompanies trips to the beach during outbreaks of red tide can be especially harmful to people with asthma. Now, researchers are trying to find out why some asthmatics are affected by red tide.

Anyone who ventures to the Gulf shore during red tide season knows the symptoms: irritated eyes and noses, a dry cough - even wheezing. For people with asthma, it's even worse.