Mote Marine Laboratory thanks Bank of America for a $15,000 grant awarded Saturday, Sept. 15, to aid Mote’s research efforts focused on Florida red tide.

The current bloom of Florida red tide, Karenia brevis algae, has continued since October 2017. Though not unprecedented in duration, it has brought challenging impacts — fish kills and increased mortality of dolphins, sea turtles and manatees, along with impacts to human quality of life: respiratory irritation along the coast and the loss of many good beach days critical for southwest Florida tourism.

“Mote Marine Laboratory is doing important work to help protect our waterways, and we support their research with a $15,000 grant,” said Mike McCoy, Bank of America’s market president for Sarasota/Manatee. “Bank of America is also providing $10,000 to the SWFL Cares Fund supporting families with lost wages as a result of the red tide.”

During this bloom, Mote has collected or analyzed hundreds of water samples to monitor red tide and conditions related to it, through its Cooperative Red Tide  Program with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Meanwhile, Mote scientists are examining an array of ways to improve red tide detection and monitoring, rapid public information, and even limited-scale options for red tide control and mitigation through multiple lines of research. Mote scientists are also working with Florida International University toward developing better ways to treat red tide-exposed manatees. In addition, Mote fisheries scientists are surveying common snook — an important sport fish — in areas hard hit by red tide, and are undertaking a snook restocking initiative with FWC and Coastal Conservation Association Florida. Most recently, Mote’s Stranding Investigations Program manager was tapped as the On-site Coordinator for NOAA Fisheries’ investigation into a dolphin unusual mortality event in southwest Florida, which includes dolphins with confirmed red tide toxin exposure.

“With Mote scientists leading several critical efforts focused on Florida red tide, and intensified demand for our direct engagement during the current bloom, we are extremely grateful to Bank of America for this generous grant designed to advance important areas of our red tide research,” said Dr. Michael P. Crosby, President & CEO of Mote.

This support will go a long way, and additional support is needed to close the gap facing Mote, an independent nonprofit research institution attending to multiple ecological emergencies.

  • Learn about Mote’s urgent efforts and how to support them here.