Mote to Showcase Sea Debris Sculptures to Enhance Marine Literacy

Greta the Great White Shark, Natasha the Turtle and their oceanic friends will arrive at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium on Dec. 9, 2017, as part of Mote’s newest exhibit, "Sea Debris: Awareness through Art," featuring "Washed Ashore."
"Sea Debris" will be on display through early June 2018 and include larger-than-life, marine-inspired sculptures made entirely out of plastic gathered from the Oregon coastline.  These handmade pieces will range from 15 feet long and 10 feet wide to seven feet long and eight feet high. More than seven of these realistic but whimsical sculptures at Mote will fascinate and educate children, the young at heart and all those who seek creative solutions to environmental challenges.

“As a leader in marine literacy, Mote is always seeking to display exhibits that not only entertain our guests, but also teach them how they can be good stewards of the ocean,” said Evan Barniskis, Assistant Vice President of Mote Aquarium. “’Sea Debris’ is a fun and creative way to start the conversation regarding an issue that is affecting all of the world’s oceans on a macro- and microscopic scale. It is our hope that this exhibit opens guests’ eyes, not just to the problem, but to the solutions regarding sea pollution.”
During the exhibit’s stay, guests can enjoy marine debris related events such as a beach clean up, science cafes, a film festival and special lectures.

Initial Dates to Note:
Sept. 5: 7 – 9 a.m. – Sarasota Gives Back Beach Cleanup

Join Mote, The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce and its partners as we take on cleaning Siesta Key Beach the day after Labor Day to help keep our oceans and beaches trash free.
Sept. 16: 5:30 p.m. – International Ocean Film Tour Hosted by Mote

This event features numerous marine related films including “A Plastic Ocean.”

Sarasota resident, Tripp Isaacson takes a closer look at plastic bags displayed as sea jellies. Turtles and other marine life that eat jellies have a hard time spotting the difference between bags likes these and their food source. Photo credit: Conor Goulding/Mote Marine Laboratory

Did you know...

Mote's Sea Turtle Patrol not only monitors local nests while walking our beaches every morning. You will often find them picking up trash.

In 2015, Mote biologists found 72% of sea turtle hatchlings that were pushed back onshore each had 2-13 plastics pieces in their intestines.
According to the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program (SDRP), a Chicago Zoological Society Program in collaboration with Mote, one of the largest threats to local dolphins and small whales are loose pieces of recreational fishing gear as these items lead to entanglement, hooking and ingestion of monofilament line and metal hooks.

This exhibit is paid for in part by Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax revenues.