Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium began life in a tiny one-room building on Florida's west coast in 1955. We were founded on three basic principles: passion, philanthropy and partnership. We had the passion of a young woman — Dr. Eugenie Clark — for her science. We had the philanthropy of Anne and William Vanderbilt, who built the one-room lab where Mote started and, later, the philanthropy of William R. Mote who helped us grow and is today the Lab's namesake. And, of course, we have always had our partnership with the community, which holds a strong connection to Mote and has supported us throughout our history.

Today, Mote can no longer be contained by one small room. More than 200 staff members — including more than 30 Ph.D. scientists — call the Lab home. From our Sarasota base of operations, we conduct research on six of the world's seven continents. Our education programs engage students in science and learning locally, nationally and internationally. We are continuously helping to create a more ocean literate society. 

Our vision, like our oceans, is expansive. 

It has to be. 

The challenges facing our oceans today are great. To meet and conquer them, we must do equally great things.

Our Vision

Mote Marine Laboratory will be a leader in nationally and internationally respected research programs that are relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity, healthy habitats and natural resources. Mote Marine Laboratory's research programs will positively impact diverse public policy challenges through strong connections to public outreach and education.

Mote Marine Laboratory is one of the world’s few remaining private marine research laboratories and, as a nonprofit organization, is funded through federal, state and local grants and through the generosity of individual donors and foundations. Over the decades since Mote was created, the world has learned many things about its oceans. One lesson has remained constant: there is still much to discover.

2020 Vision and Strategic Plan Version 2.0