Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium staff are finalizing steps to secure the animals and facilities for Hurricane Irma and will be closed effective 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. and is expected to reopen on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017 and resume normal operations if conditions allow. Visitors may check mote.org or call 941-388-4441 to confirm Mote Aquarium hours of operation. Mote will continue to follow the advice of the local emergency management teams and urge residents to do the same.
Phytoplankton - sometimes called microscopic algae - can seem a bit like Jekyll and Hyde. Some produce much of the air we breathe and nourish the ocean's food chain, while others form harmful algal blooms that range from annoying to hazardous for people and animals. The fact is, phytoplankton are really diverse, with lots of scientific groupings having a wide variety of traits ranging from helpful to harmful. Mote Staff Scientist Dr. Vince Lovko tells Hayley and Joe about the phytoplankton in our "backyard," the Gulf of Mexico, including the kinds you might wade through at the beach and never notice, along with one kind that draws Floridians' attention: the harmful algal bloom Florida red tide. The really fun part: Dr. Lovko is planning to test flying drones to monitor algal blooms from the air.
Check out the red tide monitoring app mentioned in the show by searching "CSIC Mote" in the App Store or Google Play. CSIC stands for Citizen Science Information Collaboration.
Mote Marine Laboratory scientists and their citizen-science volunteers have completed their final coral restoration outplantings at Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park in Key West this month.
This two-year project, funded by Monroe County Tourist Development Council, involved planting more than 12,000 fragments of five coral species along a publicly accessible snorkel trail during summer 2016 and 2017. Most of the restored corals were rescued by National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), propagated by Mote scientists and outplanted in the same general area where they were initially found. The outplanting area is represented by educational signs on shore and at NOAA’s Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center in Key West.
The local dolphin community has had a record year for calves, according to the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program (SDRP), a Chicago Zoological Society (CZS) program in collaboration with Mote Marine Laboratory. During the 2017 calving season, 19 calves have been documented by SDRP, the world's longest-running study of a wild dolphin population.