Study of the Ocean's Phytoplankton Community
Benthic ecology is the study of organisms that make up bottom communities (sediments, seagrass communities and rock outcrops) in lakes, streams, estuaries and oceans, to determine environmental health and conduct environmental impact studies. The Mote Benthic Ecology Program has conducted many projects primarily using benthic invertebrates to assess the environmental health of areas or regions.
Certain species of invertebrates are representative of a healthy environment, while others may tolerate and be representative of environmental stresses, such as thermal effluents from power plants, excess nutrients or chemical contaminants, alterations of the bottom by dredging or sedimentation and disruption of habitat by alteration of freshwater inflows.
Recently the Program has partnered with other organizations to conduct research related to the survival and restoration of the bay scallop (Argopecten irradians) to Sarasota Bay. The program is in the process of constructing a bay scallop nursery to provide juvenile and adult scallops to Sarasota Bay.
The benthic program provides environmental characterization and impact studies for government agencies and industry. The program has been involved in habitat surveys including seagrass mapping and bathymetry surveys, benthic biodiversity surveys, artificial reef surveys, coordination of multidiscliplinary studies of power plant impacts, assessments of the upper estuarine invertebrate zonation of tidal rivers, assessment of the impacts of beach restoration, impacts of mosquito larvicides on non-target invertebrates, effects of red tide events on invertebrates, assessment of offshore sand mining, and a variety of other environmental surveys.
The Program has also conducted seagrass and reef mapping, sediment coring, long-term measuring of physical field parameters such as salinity, temperature, weather, and currents.
Benthic Ecology staff also provide invertebrate identification services, and environmental monitoring support such as turbidity monitoring, salinity and dissolved oxygen monitoring, collection and analysis of water current speeds and circulation data and assist with the collection of water quality data for Mote’s state certified environmental water quality laboratory, the Environmental Chemistry Program. The program can also provide expertise in scientific scuba diving in accordance with American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) rules for scientific diving. Mr. Culter developed the Mote Diving Program and brought Mote into compliance with AAUS and EPA diving standards.
Benthic research at Mote dates to 1978.
Study of the Ocean's Phytoplankton Community
The Coral Reef Ecology & Microbiology Program studies microorganisms and their role in the marine environment.
Long term study of dolphin populations in Sarasota Bay.
Investigating how marine & freshwater chemicals impact public health
Using technology to further study & management of our local coastal environment.
Developing technologies to produce fish & invertebrates to meet growing demand for seafood & fishing stocks.
Studying sharks, skates and stingrays as laboratory animal models for basic & applied research
Investigating the source, fact & effects of toxins in the environment
Studying the impacts of nutrients and physical parameters in riverine, estuarine and coastal environments.
Study responses of ecologically important species to projected levels of ocean acidification.
The Stranding Investigations Program (SIP) provides 24-hour response to sick, injured and deceased marine mammals & sea turtles.
Seeking to develop systems and techniques to grow coral and other reef species.
Coral diseases are one of the greatest threats to reefs worldwide.
Developing strategies for fishery stocking & restoring endangered species
Basic and applied research on the health and immune systems of marine vertebrates
Understanding processes and environmental factors that influence coral reef health.
The Sharks and Rays Conservation Research Program is dedicated to studying the biology, ecology and conservation of sharks, skates and rays.
Rehabilitation hospital to provide provide state-of-the-art critical care & chronic care for stranded sea turtles and dolphins.
Contaminant detection of toxic substances.
Study of how fish interact with their habitats & how disturbances influence these interactions.
Bottom-dwelling organism response to environmental disturbance.
Studying habitats and trends in turtle nesting to conserve Sea Turtles.
Studying manatee behavioral ecology, distribution, habitat use, genetics, and population status in Florida.
We’re proud to announce that we’ve exceeded our goal! But we’re not stopping there. Fundraising continues until our annual black-tie gala, Oceanic Evening on October 29, 2016.
Learn more about how every contribution makes a difference.