The Sarasota Bay Fisheries forum — a group for anglers, scientists and others seeking to proactively address fisheries management topics in the Sarasota Bay area — is gearing up for its next meeting.
The free meeting is open to the public and will take place from 6-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 4, on the third floor of Mote’s Keating Marine Education Center, 1599 Ken Thompson Parkway on City Island, Sarasota.
A worldwide ocean celebration is on the horizon — join the fun during the World Oceans Day Family Festival from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 6, in Mote Aquarium.
On World Oceans Day, people from all over the world celebrate the ocean and learn how to protect our marine environment. Mote’s World Oceans Day event will have the theme “Oceans of Inspiration” to spotlight the ocean’s deep connection to the human spirit and the boundless inspirational power of our natural world’s greatest resource.
World Oceans Day, officially celebrated on June 8, was created in 1992 at the Earth Summit and declared a holiday by the United Nations in 2009 as a reminder of the importance of a clean ocean and its impact on our future.
Here at Mote, we make a big splash each year. This year’s event will feature games and crafts focused on green practices, marine science and conservation by Mote and other local organizations.
The family festival is free with regular paid admission to Mote Aquarium and is free for Mote Members.
World Oceans Day takes place in many zoos and aquariums, coordinated in partnership with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and The Ocean Project.
Sponsors of Mote’s 2015 event include: Critter Ridge Landscape Contractors, Herald-Tribune Media Group, Insurance & Benefits Consultants (IBC) and Sam’s Club.
Details for Visitors:
What: World Oceans Day Family Festival
When: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday, June 6
Where: Mote Aquarium, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway in Sarasota
For more information or to sponsor the event, please contact Stacy Alexander at 941-388-4441 ext. 509 or [email protected].
Saturdays in June and July:
Learn about sea turtles on free walks
A loggerhead sea turtle crawl and nest. (Credit Mote Marine Laboratory)
Florida’s Gulf Coast is a hotspot for nesting sea turtles, but how much do you know about our flippered friends? You can learn the tale behind the turtle tracks and scout local beaches for nests by joining Mote Marine Laboratory’s free, educational Turtle Walks on Saturdays in June and July.
Mote documents sea turtle nesting from Longboat Key through Venice. See updated nest counts at www.mote.org/2015nesting.
The public Turtle Walks are led by a Mote-trained volunteer participating in Mote’s Sea Turtle Patrol and Longboat Key Turtle Watch, which partner to monitor local beaches. The volunteer scouts for signs of turtle nesting as part of an effort to conserve sea turtles. She will also discuss sea turtle life history and talk about other local wildlife and natural habitats. People of all ages are welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult. No reservations are needed.
Walks begin at 6:45 a.m. every Saturday in June and July. Participants should meet at the public beach access point at 4795 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key. Parking is available.
During the Turtle Walks, participants might find evidence of turtle nests or of “false crawls” — when females come ashore but return to sea without nesting. Guides will describe how Mote scientists and trained volunteers carefully interpret and document these signs. Participants will also learn how all beachgoers, coastal residents and visitors can keep beaches safe and inviting for sea turtles.
Southwest Florida beaches provide nesting grounds for threatened loggerhead sea turtles, endangered green sea turtles and occasionally for other sea turtle species. Florida’s west coast hosts the largest nesting population of loggerheads in the Gulf of Mexico. Nesting season runs from May 1 through Oct. 31.
2015 marks Mote’s 34th year of protecting sea turtles along 35 miles of Sarasota County beaches. To support Mote’s sea turtle research and conservation efforts, donate online at www.mote.org/support and select “donate.” In the drop-down box, choose “Sea Turtle Conservation.”
June 20: Mini-golf for sea turtles
Tee up for sea turtles during a special mini-golf tournament to benefit Mote’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program.
Tee times are 10 a.m. and noon on June 20 at Evies Family Golf Center, 4735 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota. The event is being organized by Lexi Mariash, a local 11-year-old who wants to save sea turtles.
Cost is $25 per person or $100 per team. Entry includes golf, food, drinks and access to a fun house.
Funds from the tournament will be matched by the national, youth-centric nonprofit Positive Tracks to advance the important work of Mote’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program, which has coordinated sea turtle conservation for more than 30 years along 35 miles of Sarasota County beaches.
June 21: Father’s Day special at Mote Aquarium
Dads, start your engines… for a trip to Mote! On Father’s Day, June 21, dads can visit Mote Aquarium for free with the purchase of a child’s ticket.
Come learn about the amazing and unusual dads (and moms) living in our oceans by visiting Mote’s limited-time exhibit “Oh Baby! Life Cycles of the Seas.”
There, you can discover how some daddy fish carry their eggs inside their mouths to protect them, learn how male seahorses and pipefish take on motherly duties by giving birth, and find out what life is like for parents and babies of many other marine species, from jellyfish and corals to turtles and sharks.
“Oh Baby!” is a family-friendly, educational exhibit where visitors can discover ocean animal “romance” and reproduction, babies of many species and the survival challenges facing new generations of marine life. These topics are central to marine research around the globe, including the world-class science of Mote Marine Laboratory. “Oh Baby!” is open through Sept. 27, 2015.
Mote is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 365 days a year at 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, City Island, Sarasota. For ticket prices and other visitor information, go to www.mote.org and scroll over “Aquarium.”
Founded in 1955, Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium 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 has 24 research programs and a variety of initiatives 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. Mote’s vision includes positively impacting public policy through science-based outreach and education. Showcasing this research is Mote Aquarium, open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 365 days a year. Learn more at mote.org.
Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, Fla., 34236. 941.388.4441