The Jewish Federation Supports Mote-Israeli partnership for marine science

The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee has awarded a generous grant of $20,000 to Mote Marine Laboratory, helping Mote scientists and Israeli colleagues work together on some of the toughest challenges facing our oceans.

This is The Jewish Federation’s third grant to the Mote-Israel Cooperative Marine Research Program established in 2011 at Mote in Sarasota, Fla. The Program helps Mote and Israeli scientists travel and collaborate to study climate change and ocean acidification — global threats to the coral reef ecosystems that provide food and shelter for more than 25 percent of marine fish and up to two million marine species. Mote-Israeli Cooperative partners also focus on fisheries enhancement, sustainable fish farming, marine sources of biomedical compounds and other marine topics of international interest. They work together in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aqaba, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea.

“Located in a sea of instability and violence, Israel is a beacon of stability and social conscience,” explained Howard Tevlowitz, Executive Director of The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee. “This funding partnership celebrates both Israel's many accomplishments as it relates to water conservation, preservation of our most valuable resources, and the ecology and the outstanding work of a wonderful Sarasota community partner — Mote Marine Laboratory.”
“We are truly grateful to The Jewish Federation for continuing this vital support of the Mote-Israel Cooperative,” said Dr. Michael P. Crosby, President & CEO of Mote. “They have recognized that both the U.S. and Israel are tied to the sea, that both have some of the top marine scientists on the planet and that Mote and its counterparts in Israel are forging relationships and supporting international marine science diplomacy to benefit our oceans.”

The new grant will help Israeli scientists travel to Mote’s research facility on Summerland Key in late August 2015 for the second International Workshop on Impacts of Ocean Acidification and Climate Change on Corals & Coral Reefs. The first workshop was co-hosted by Mote and the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences (IUI) in Eilat, Israel in 2013, and it involved a marathon of novel studies by scientists from six nations. The second workshop is expected to include participants from more than a dozen nations.

The Mote-Israel Cooperative also led to exciting developments in 2014, when Mote and IUI signed a memorandum of understanding to seek further support for scientific faculty, postdoctoral and graduate students to travel between Israel and Mote. The MOU is designed to facilitate new research initiatives in ocean acidification, ecology of coral reefs, sharks and butterflyfish, marine biomedicine and many other key subjects shared by these two world-class marine science organizations.

The Mote-Israel Cooperative developed from Mote’s long history of successful collaborations with Israeli scientists. Mote’s founding “Shark Lady,” Dr. Eugenie Clark, conducted some of her earliest studies of sharks and other fishes in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aqaba, and she built ties with the region as early as the 1950s. Mote’s President & CEO, Dr. Michael P. Crosby, has worked closely with top Israeli researchers since 1994. He led U.S., Israeli and Jordanian partners in the Red Sea Marine Peace Park Cooperative Research, Monitoring and Management Program — an effort to protect coral reefs that support thousands of species in the Gulf of Aqaba. He is also a former chairman of the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation Board of Governors and has served on the Board since he was appointed by the U.S. State Department in 2002.