LETTER TO THE EDITOR: New Mote facility details explained

July 24, 2020
By Olivia Cameron

To the Editor:
At a press conference earlier this week, Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium leadership provided exciting updates regarding the planned Mote Science Education Aquarium (Mote SEA) at Nathan Benderson Park. Updates included sharing remastered renderings of the iconic facility, announcing a major milestone in the Oceans for All campaign in support of Mote SEA, and revealing the expected date for an official groundbreaking later this year.
Mote’s President & CEO, Dr. Michael P. Crosby, shared the following updates with Mote Trustees, major donors, supporters and community leaders at the Finish Tower at Nathan Benderson Park, overlooking the future home of Mote SEA. 
Hands-on teaching labs, on-site diving programs, scientific demonstrations, and creatively interwoven interactive technology will be included in Mote SEA. 
As of July 2020, supporters have already provided or pledged approximately $75 million of the total goal of the Oceans for All capital campaign in support of Mote SEA.
A groundbreaking ceremony will take place September 2020, thanks to the generous financial support from donors and the partnership with Sarasota County for the land upon which Mote SEA will be built.
Mote SEA will generate a significant boost for our regional economy and further support innovative research for the sustainable use and conservation of our oceans. But, equally as important, Mote SEA will expand formal STEM education to each and every K-12 student in Sarasota and Manatee County Public Schools, and transform our ability or provide informal science education and enhanced levels of ocean literacy to much larger and more diverse populations in our community.
The Gulf Coast Builders Exchange is committed to serving the needs of our community, and the construction of Mote SEA presents an opportunity to support the foundational mission of our organization. Mote’s commitment to reinvesting in our community with significant utilization of local businesses with undoubtedly create not only financial benefits for our community, but an immense sense of pride in the project for all involved.
Manatee County has proudly committed $5 million of financial support for Mote SEA, and it’s because we believe in the vision of a regional project that betters both Manatee and Sarasota counties. By doubling their attendance projections and greatly expanding free access to marine science educational programming, Mote’s new aquarium will improve the lives of all of us that call this region home.
Stephanie Kettle
Public Information
Mote Marine Laboratory