Mote Aquarium is expected to reopen to the public on Wednesday, Sept.13, 2017 and resume normal operations. It is our hope that all of our staff, volunteers and community weathered Hurricane Irma with little impact. Dedicated staff were on site during the storm, and additional staff arrived early this morning to assess the Aquarium. All animals are safe, but additional time is needed for clean up. 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.
Mote’s Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research and Restoration (IC2R3) remains closed. IC2R3 was completed earlier this year on Summerland Key and was designed to be Category-5 hurricane resistant. IC2R3 staff secured the campus last week and have been following evacuation orders along with safety recommendations provided by Monroe County's emergency management team. By Friday, Mote staff had moved many of the nursery-grown coral fragments into the facility’s wet lab for protection, securing a “gene bank” of multiple coral species and genetic varieties that matter for reef restoration efforts.
Mote’s Stranding Investigations Program will continue to work in conjunction with state and federal partners and respond on a case by case basis as weather permits. For tips regarding sea turtle nests please view Mote’s release from Tropical Storm Emily.
Communication staff will continue to provide updates regarding Mote’s campuses and programs on mote.org as needed.