Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium is pleased to be recognized by the Tampa Bay Business Journal as the #1 revenue-generating cultural nonprofit in the entire Tampa Bay region. The ranking is based on approximately $44 million in revenue in 2022 by Mote.
For nearly seven decades, Mote has conducted world-class innovative research, technology development and science education. A key part of Mote’s mission is public service to translate and transfer science to positively impact restoration, conservation and sustainable use of ocean and coastal ecosystems, while also enhancing the overall ocean literacy of the public. What started as a one-room laboratory in 1955 is now a world-renowned, global marine science institution leading more than 27 diverse marine research, technology development and conservation programs. With over 40 PhD-level scientists, more than 300 total staff members, 1,300 volunteers, and 10,000 members, Mote now consists of eight operational campuses, stretching from Tampa Bay to Key West, including the public outreach arm of Mote’s research, Mote Aquarium.
To continue with Mote’s growth trajectory, Mote’s new ninth campus, the $130 million Mote Science Education Aquarium (Mote SEA), is currently under construction at Nathan Benderson Park and will open in the Winter of 2024. Mote SEA will generate $28 million of economic impact to the region while operating as an informal marine science and technology education center that will enhance levels of ocean literacy to a much larger and more diverse population from around the world, doubling the number of visitors at the current Mote Aquarium to approximately 700,000 people per year at the new facility.
More importantly, Mote SEA will serve as a regional hub for providing critical experiential science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in its three K-12 STEM teaching labs to 70,000 students from local schools, along with family day passes to 24,000 Title 1 students in Sarasota and Manatee Counties each year.
Mote SEA will not just provide K-12 students with potentially transformative STEM education opportunities—it will also help bridge gaps between education and careers through four STEM Workforce Development Labs on the second and third floors with focus on sustainable aquaculture, habitat restoration, fisheries, robotics and machine learning data analytics. In these labs, high school interns, undergraduate and graduate students will gain technical skills, hands-on research experience, and career-building networking opportunities working alongside Mote scientist mentors on their ongoing projects.
Mote’s incredible growth over the past decade and its ambitious vision for the evolution of a marine science-based economy in Southwest Florida led its current President & CEO, Dr. Michael P. Crosby, to be named a Living Legend in Florida Trends’ annual “Florida 500”, which highlights the State of Florida's most influential business leaders. For creating waves of change that ultimately leave Florida a better place, Florida Trend placed Dr. Crosby in its prestigious lineup that also includes Jeff Vinik, Owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning; Pat Geraghty, President & CEO, Guidewell Mutual Holding Co. and Florida Blue; Richard M. Schulze, Founder of Best Buy; and others.
Under Dr. Crosby’s leadership, Mote developed a roadmap for success as it follows its “Beyond 2020 Vision & Strategic Plan” which focuses on 1) leading world-class research around the world; 2) attracting, nurturing and retaining the best and brightest scientific minds; 3) translating and transferring its knowledge to benefit the oceans and provide important public service to its communities; and 4) significantly expanding marine research, technology and innovation infrastructure to stimulate economic growth.