Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium: Run for the Turtles + Kid Fundraising; Party on the Pass March 20; Keys Ocean Festival April 4

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Newsday@Mote: 3-11-15

Mote’s 2014 Run for the Turtles brought people of all ages to the beach in support of sea turtle research and conservation. This year’s Run is April 4, and a new youth fundraising challenge invites kids to get involved early. (Credit: Mote Marine Laboratory)
Ready your running shoes for a fabulous fundraiser benefiting sea turtle conservation — and tell the young folks in your life they can get moving early for a $37,000 head start.

Mote’s 29th Annual Run for the Turtles, a 5K and 1-mile run supporting sea turtle research and conservation at Mote Marine Laboratory, will take place on April 4 at Siesta Beach.

Now through April 4, youths age 23 and younger can launch their own fundraising projects that will be matched up to $37,000 total by Positive Tracks. This year, Positive Tracks and funding partner Gulf Coast Community Foundation are doubling dollars raised by young people before and during the Run, adding extra “oomph” to the Run’s support for Mote.
For Run for the Turtles timing, registration fees and other details, visit Register for the Run online at:

Celebrate Oceans, Support Coral Reefs on April 4 in the Keys
Sea fans, get ready for the 6th Annual Florida Keys Ocean Festival & Waterfront Craft Show — a free day of ocean-themed education and fun from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 4, at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center, 35 East Quay Road at Truman Waterfront in Key West. (

The Festival benefits coral reef restoration and research by Mote Marine Laboratory, supporting the Lab’s Protect Our Reefs program. Any time of year, you can support coral restoration and research by Mote and others by purchasing a Protect Our Reefs license plate at

Reefs around the world face multiple threats ranging from climate change and ocean acidification to pollution and disease. To help reefs recover, Mote has been working to understand, protect and restore reefs in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary for more than a decade through efforts based at its research facility on Summerland Key, which recently announced exciting new plans for expansion. The Ocean Festival helps support Mote’s work while bringing oceans to life for the community.

The Festival will feature more than 100 booths featuring environmental education and conservation, touch pools with live marine animals, shopping, crafts, food, local artwork and more. Visitors can enjoy music by Howard Livingston and the MM24 band, participate in a major silent auction, see marine artist Wyland paint with kids and then create paintings live for auction, enjoy a kids’ fishing seminar and get raffle tickets for a cool custom paddleboard.

In partnership with the Ocean Festival, the annual 5K Tuna Trot Race for the Reef will take place at 8 a.m. on April 4, leaving from the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center. Advance registration is $25 for adults, $15 for children 12 & under, and free for children who participate with a registered adult. Price increases by $5 on race day. Learn more from the event Facebook page and click here to register.

Mote thanks the participating organizations and sponsors for this year’s Ocean Festival:

Participating organizations:
Mote Marine Lab, Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center, Bahia Honda State Park, Department of Environmental Protection, Dolphin Research Center, FAVOR, FKCC Marine Sciences, Florida Keys Mosquito Control, Florida Keys National Marine Santuary TEAM OCEAN, Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuge, Florida Keys SPCA, Fury Water Adventures, FWC, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, History of Diving Museum, Key West Maritime Historical Society, Keys Marine Lab, Monroe County Extension Service: Horticulture, Monroe County Extension: Marine Science, National Weather Service, Pigeon Key Foundation, Reef Relief, Save -a-Turtle, Mel Fisher Maritime Museum Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, The Turtle Hospital, U.S. Coast Guard Auxillary, Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, SeaCamp, Scubanauts International, Key West Parrothead Club and Wyland Foundation.

NOAA, Key TV, Stock Island Marina, Monroe County Tourist Development Council, Coca-Cola, First State Bank, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, Smokin’ Tuna Saloon, Wyland Foundation, Blue Heaven, Shark Bites at the Southernmost Point, Pier House, Tavern n Town Restaurant, U.S. Coast Guard, Keys Federal Credit Union, Lower Keys Bait & Tackle, Ocean Walk Properties, Little Palm Island, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Keys Weekly, Galleon Resort, Okuma, Bombora Vodka, Key West Harbor Service & Tow Boat US, Reef Safe Suncare, Fury Water Adventures, Keys Energy, Ocean Key Resort – Key West, Westin Key West Resort, Centennial Bank, Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center and Mote’s Protect Our Reefs Program.
March 20: Party on the Pass for
Mote’s Animal Hospitals

Mote Marine Laboratory is gearing up for a fabulous Party on the Pass: a casual evening of good food, good fun and goodwill supporting Mote’s hospitals for dolphins, whales and sea turtles.

Party on the Pass will start at 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 20 at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway on City Island, Sarasota.

Tickets are $85 per person. To make reservations or sponsor this event, contact Jennifer Wagner at 941-388-4441, ext. 324 or [email protected].

Mote’s animal hospitals have rehabilitated 70 dolphins and whales since 1992 and more than 450 sea turtles since 1995.


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

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