Help provide direct support to Mote's mission.
Florida has the only barrier coral reef system in the continental U.S. It's like having the Grand Canyon underwater—a natural treasure that took millions of years to create and deserves our protection.
If you're a Florida driver, you can help make coral reef research, education and conservation happen by purchasing a Protect Our Reefs license plate for your car or boat trailer. You can even purchase a Reef Plate as a gift for your favorite reef-natic.
Experts estimate that as many as 50% of the marine animals, organisms and plants in Florida’s saltwater environment depend on coral reefs or derive some benefit from reefs during their life cycles. Sadly, the last 40 years have not been kind to our coral reefs, and we’ve witnessed losses of more than 90% of our indigenous coral coverage here in Florida. Some populations of coral species have declined by as much as 97%.
To help stem the losses, Mote Marine Laboratory created the Protect Our Reefs specialty license plate and Grants Program. The Grants Program uses the dollars raised from plate sales for:
Organizations may apply for grant funds to support their Florida-based coral research. The Protect Our Reefs Grants Program has provided more than $2.8 million in funding support for more than 100 projects, including studies published in top peer-reviewed journals like Science and Nature.