In honor of #GivingTuesday — today, Dec. 1 — Mote Marine Lab is excited to share some of the ways we give back to the sea, along with ideas for how the public can help throughout this season of giving.

Giving Tuesday started in 2012 through a partnership between the United Nations Foundation and New York’s 92nd Street Y. Today, it involves and inspires organizations and people worldwide. According to Today “charities, families, businesses, community centers and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.”

Mote, a homegrown, independent nonprofit marine laboratory, gives back to the sea year ’round by carrying out world-class marine science, conservation and education projects around the world. Here are a few of our stories for Giving Tuesday and the entire season of holiday giving:

  • This year, Mote Marine Laboratory is celebrating 60 years of marine science. The Lab has already achieved much over its 60-year history, including finding cancer-fighting substances from sharks, and raising miles worth of corals to restore coral reefs, which are considered “rainforests of the sea.” Mote scientists have developed innovative and sustainable ways to farm seafood and provided informal science education for all ages across the country.

To celebrate its impactful history and to continue conducting groundbreaking research, Mote is expanding its local and global impacts through a comprehensive fundraising campaign: Oceans of Opportunity. Through this Campaign, Mote aims to reach $50 million and has received incredible, generous support from the community toward this goal.

How you can give back: Mote invites the public to help the Lab reach the $50 million goal to achieve the vision for growth in the Lab’s guiding blueprint, the 2020 Vision & Strategic Plan.To learn how you can help us through Oceans of Opportunity, visit:

  • For 34 years, Mote’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program has monitored and protected sea turtle nests along 35 miles of Sarasota County beaches. In 2015, Mote documented a record total of 2,475 nests local nests, protecting many nests from natural and manmade threats and helping to rescue thousands of sea turtle hatchlings, giving these endangered turtles a better chance of survival.

How you can give back: Mote is encouraging youths (age 23 and younger) to help support the Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program by registering for the 30th annual Run for the Turtles. To provide even more support, the nonprofit group Positive Tracks has partnered with Mote to help young people get active and give back. Every dollar raised by youth and matched by Positive Tracks goes to Mote to benefit the Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program. Positive Tracks and local funding partner, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, have created this youth fundraising challenge to boost support and amplify awareness.

  • The Protect Our Reefs Specialty License Plate administered by Mote has awarded more than $3 million in competitive grants over the years to many organizations for coral reef research, restoration and education focused on Florida’s reefs. Protect Our Reefs funds have helped fuel multi-organization efforts to transplant thousands of corals onto depleted reefs in the Florida Keys.

How you can give back: Florida drivers can Purchase a Protect Our Reefs license plate today by visiting

  • Mote Aquarium shares the Lab’s science and conservation efforts with an average of 320,000 people per year, encouraging ocean literacy in our society and helping fuel Mote’s efforts to study and help sustain healthy oceans worldwide. Mote’s education programs reach tens of thousands of young people, and its digital learning and traveling exhibits reach countless others. Many of Mote’s programs reach out to underserved and underrepresented students, and Mote staff are working hard to increase these efforts.

How you can give back: