Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, Mission to Restore Keys Coral Reef a Success; Jessica Silk, member of SCUBAnauts International, Billy Costello, member of the Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge and Dr. Michael P. Crosby, President & CEO of Mote Marine Laboratory, plant staghorn corals in the Florida Keys.
Jessica Silk, member of SCUBAnauts International, Billy Costello, member of the Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge and Dr. Michael P. Crosby, President & CEO of Mote Marine Laboratory, plant staghorn corals in the Florida Keys.
Over the past two weeks, several groups have conducted a Mote Marine Laboratory partnership mission to restore coral.
Working with Mote scientists, members of SCUBAnauts International, Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge and Gold Star Teen Adventures helped plant threatened staghorn corals in a special restoration site near the Looe Key Existing Management Area (EMA) over the last two weeks.
By the end of the day Tuesday, July 29, the groups planted 850 coral fragments and helped to create another 2,300 that will be grown in Mote’s underwater coral nursery and then planted on the reef in the future.
The event also marked the creation of a new restoration area set aside on a patch reef about a mile long that is located east of the Looe Key EMA to honor the sacrifices of American servicemen and women.
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 The Aquarium at Mote, open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 365 days a year. Learn more at mote.org.