Mote’s 28th Run for the Turtles Makes Great Strides for Endangered Species

Suggested Tweet: Runners of all ages support sea turtles with #MoteMarineLab at 28th Run for the Turtles:

More than 800 runners and walkers hit the beach to help endangered and threatened sea turtles during Mote’s 28th Run for the Turtles today, April 5, on Siesta Public Beach. (Race results below)

The Run, which includes a 5K sanctioned by the Manasota Track club and a 1-mile fun-run/walk, has provided major support for Mote Marine Laboratory’s sea turtle conservation and monitoring efforts. Mote's scientists will soon begin their 33rd year coordinating sea turtle conservation along 35 miles of Sarasota County beaches. Mote scientists and volunteers in Mote’s Sea Turtle Patrol monitor sea turtle nesting each day during nesting season, May through October.

The Run, a joint effort between Mote, the Manasota Track Club and Sarasota County Parks and Recreation, raises funds to help Mote scientists study and protect sea turtles, which are considered threatened or endangered under federal law.


Shelley the Sea Turtle, a mascot for Mote Marine Laboratory, hands a ribbon to a young runner during Mote's 28th Run for the Turtles on April 5 at Siesta Beach. (Credit: Mote Marine Laboratory)

At the event, participants and scores of friends and supporters brightened up Siesta Public Beach before sunrise, starting with a warm-up workout with Mote mascot Shelley the Sea Turtle followed by a 1-mile fun run/walk and a 5K run sanctioned by the Manasota Track Club.

Runners younger than 9 and older than 80 hit the beach, competing for overall fastest times for males and females in each race, and for the fastest times within each age group for the 5K.

To kick off the awards ceremony, Mote President and CEO Dr. Michael P. Crosby addressed the guests:

"What a beautiful day and a beautiful turnout for Mote's Run for the Turtles,” Crosby said. “Mote has been able to monitor and help protect the endangered and threatened turtles nesting on our beaches for more than three decades, thanks in large part to you and to all the dedicated runners who have joined us over the years."

Support the Mote's sea turtle conservation and monitoring efforts with a donation at

Mote thanks the sponsors who made this event possible, including: Brighthouse Networks, ABC 7, SNN Local News 6, Mote Scientific Foundation, New Balance, Koala Tee, Kumar and Linda Mahadevan, IBC Insurance Consultants, Westbridge Veterinary Clinic and Ignite 360 Fitness.

Race Results

5K winners:
Overall male winner: Kyle Donovan, age 28, time: 17:52       
Overall female winner: Heather Butcher, age 41, time: 18:52
1-Mile Fun Run/Walk winners:
 Male winner: Dylan Hull, age 14, time: 7:12
 Female winner: Grace Bridgeman, age 10, time: 8:35

Finalized results from each age category are expected to be posted at and at

As we approach the first day of nesting season, May 1, please keep the following tips in mind to protect sea turtles:


  • If you encounter a nesting turtle, remain quiet and observe from a distance.
  • Shield or turn off outdoor lights that are visible on the beach from May through October.
  • Close drapes after dark and put beach furniture far back from the water.
  • Fill in holes that may entrap hatchlings on their way to the water.
  • Place trash in its proper place.

Do Not:

  • Approach nesting turtles or hatchlings, make noise, or shine lights at turtles.
  • Use flashlights or fishing lamps on the beach.
  • Encourage a turtle to move while nesting or pick up hatchlings that have emerged and are heading for the water.
  • Use fireworks on the beach.

Sea turtles are protected under federal law and any harassment or interference with a sea turtle, living or dead, is subject to penalty. If you witness anyone disturbing a turtle or find an injured or disoriented hatchling or adult, please notify agents with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-888-404-FWCC (3922), the local sheriff’s department, and/or Mote Marine Laboratory’s Sea Turtle Program at 388-4331. If you find a dead or injured sea turtle contact Mote’s Stranding Investigations Program at 888-345-2335.

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Founded in 1955, Mote Marine Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)3 research organization based in Sarasota, Fla., with field stations in eastern Sarasota County, Charlotte Harbor and the Florida Keys. Donations to Mote are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. 
Mote is dedicated to today’s research for tomorrow’s oceans with an emphasis on world-class research relevant to conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity, healthy habitats and natural resources. Research programs include studies of human cancer using marine models, the effects of man-made and natural toxins on humans and on the environment, the health of wild fisheries, developing sustainable and successful fish restocking techniques and food production technologies and the development of ocean technology to help us better understand the health of the environment. Mote research programs also focus on understanding the population dynamics of manatees, dolphins, sea turtles, sharks and coral reefs and on conservation and restoration efforts related to these species and ecosystems. Mote’s vision includes positively impacting public policy through science-based outreach and education. Showcasing this research is The Aquarium at Mote, open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 365 days a year. Learn more at 

Contact: Mote Marine Laboratory, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236. (941) 388-4441 or
Mote Marine Laboratory meets all requirements specified by the Florida Solicitation of Contributions Act. A copy of the official registration #SC01050 and financial information may be obtained from the Division of Consumer Services by calling 1-800-435-7352 within the state. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the state.