PLATINUM2023

Mote Marine Laboratory

Sarasota, FL   |  www.mote.org

Mission

The advancement of marine and environmental sciences through scientific research, education and public outreach, leading to new discoveries, revitalization and sustainability of our oceans and greater public understanding of our marine resources.

Ruling year info

1977

President & CEO

Dr. Michael P. Crosby

Main address

1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy

Sarasota, FL 34236 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

59-0756643

NTEE code info

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (C05)

Zoo, Zoological Society (D50)

Marine Science and Oceanography (U21)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2022, 2021 and 2020.
Register now

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The challenges that our oceans face remain critically linked to the well-being of both people and the planet. In the marine environment specifically, coastal habitat is disappearing, rising water temperatures are causing inhospitable conditions for marine life, endangered corals and other species are facing extinction, and many wild fisheries have been or are on the verge of depletion. Mote is working to reverse these trends by conducting solutions-oriented research in Florida and around the world. Concurrent with this research, Mote conducts outreach and education that raises awareness of the threats our oceans face and the scientific solutions that are bringing hope for the future. Motes audience for this work is expansive, including individual citizens, marine science peers and practitioners, environmental regulators and more.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Coral Reef Research and Restoration

Decades of species and habitat loss in our oceans and on our reefs now necessitate targeted intervention by scientists to bring these rainforests of the sea back from the brink of extinction. Mote is at the forefront of this effort:
Identifying disease-resistant and climate-resilient corals and using this knowledge to ensure the success of long-term reef restoration efforts
Creating new genetic diversity within coral species through sexual propagation and micro-fragmenting
Restoring Floridas Coral Reef by outplanting disease-resistant and climate-resilient corals to degraded areas of the reef
Preserving genetic diversity for future research, propagation, and restoration by establishing a storm-safe, inland coral gene bank
Developing the capacity to increase coral spawning from once-yearly to year-round through new spawning methods and technology
Over its 14 year history, Mote has outplanted over 215,000 corals onto Florida's Coral Reef.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Marine Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation
Mote Marine Laboratory manages one of the most active marine animal rescue and rehabilitation programs in the state of Florida. In partnership with Janes Refuge: The Hospital for Dolphins and Whales and Motes Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital, Mote works to rehabilitate sick and injured animals and return them to their natural habitats whenever possible so they may contribute to their populations for years to come. Motes Stranding Investigations Program (SIP) also works to expand knowledge of the biology, disease processes, and recovery of marine animals as a means to improving veterinary care for individual animals as well as strandings protocols and techniques for the field.

Population(s) Served

Red Tide Research, Mitigation and Control
Mote Marine Laboratory remains committed to mitigating the impact of Floridas devastating red tide algal blooms and is involved in this effort on many fronts. Mote manages the Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative which supports innovative research and through which Mote is developing new infrastructure in eastern Sarasota County specifically for the study of Karenia brevis, the organism responsible for Florida red tide. Current laboratory research at Mote includes the testing of a variety of compounds and technologies for efficacy against red tide cells, toxins, and aerosol production. Mote is also involved in a collaborative study examining the utilization of storm water nutrients by the K. brevis organism.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The U.S. imports over 90% of its seafood, resulting in a severe trading deficit, and 23 million Americans live in areas lacking access to fresh, healthy foods. Since 2001, Mote Scientists have been addressing the need for sustainable aquaculture. At Mote Aquaculture Research Park (MAP), Mote has developed a land-based, zero-waste, recirculating aquaculture system. This aquaponics system combines fish farming and hydroponics to grow two crops (vegetables and fish) using a single nutrient source. MAP is the single largest research facility in the U.S. focused on developing recirculating aquaculture systems and the only U.S. facility spawning and rearing snook for restocking.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Committed to public education and outreach, Mote Aquarium typically hosts over 350,000 visitors annually while Motes Education Division reaches 48,000 youth and adults. Mote is a leader in marine STEM education and provides educational experiences for underrepresented and under-served youth, with a goal to help prepare these students for college and career. Mote hosts educational camps and classes, collaborates with afterschool programs to stimulate interest in science and the environment, and manages an award-winning digital learning program that serve both domestic and international audiences. Mote also works to translate and transfer its knowledge to positively impact society. For instance, Mote provides sound data and expert analysis to policy makers in order to shape and inform environmental regulations for the benefit of our oceans.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

Where we work

Accreditations

American Zoos and Aquariums Association - Accreditation 2013

American Association of Museums - 10 Year Accreditation 2018

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee 2024

Awards

Largest Cultural Nonprofit in Tampa Bay 2024

Tampa Bay Journal

Living Legend - Mote President & CEO 2024

Florida 500

Pinnacle Award 2023

Center for Interactive Learning

AZA Hero Award, Amanda Hodo 2018

American Association of Zoos & Aquariums

Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, Dr Erinn Muller 2019

National Science Foundation

Autism Friendly Business 2022

Center for Autism and Related Disabilities

Affiliations & memberships

International Consortium for Marine Conservation 2024

Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership 2024

Marine Mammal Stranding Network 2024

Florida Red Tide Mitigation & Technology Development Initiative 2024

Pelagic Ecosystem Research Consortium 2024

Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation 2024

Coral Restoration Consortium 2024

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of research or policy analysis products developed, e.g., reports, briefs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Total number of volunteer hours contributed to the organization

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of participants engaged in programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, At-risk youth, Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Total number of organization members

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of participants from underrepresented and underserved populations

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Mote is focused on generating solutions to some of the grand challenges of our time, with a particular focus on:

Protecting and saving endangered species and their habitats --- In oceans around the world, marine species and their habitats are suffering from predation, disease, climate change and human impact. Mote research raises awareness, informs policy and improves outcomes for threatened and endangered species and habitats. Mote rehabilitates and releases dolphins, small whales and endangered sea turtles and, whenever possible, tracks their movement and behavior to better understand these wild populations. Motes Center for Shark Research uses humane data collection and tracking to better understand this apex species and to promote sound conservation management. Mote is also home to the worlds longest-running study of a Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, yielding multi-generational insight into this species, and also studies the behavior and habits of the beloved Florida manatee.

Unlocking solutions from the sea --- Mote is conducting research that is focused not only on the pressing challenges facing our oceans today, but also on potential, marine-derived therapies for wound healing and for battling human cancers. Mote has also pioneered a fully integrated and land-based aquaponic systems to produce marine fish and salt-tolerant vegetables for human consumption with nearly zero waste. This endeavor is also helping to restock wild fisheries to maintain a healthy population balance. As an independent marine science organization, Mote has the flexibility to invest in novel approaches that may not attract traditional funding but that hold exciting promise for new solutions.

Creating an informed and conservation-minded citizenry --- Mote is committed to educating and engaging the general public through hands-on activities and experiences. Formal and informal education programs include public programs for people of all ages, in-community outreach for K-12 students and special needs adults, STEM-based teacher training in public schools and lifelong learning for adults. Approximately 48,000 individuals benefit from Mote educational programming each year. Mote is also committed to translating and transferring scientific findings to peers and lay audiences by: publishing in peer-reviewed journals, presenting at scientific conferences, engaging citizens and volunteers through workshops, trainings and hands-on conservation activities, and providing expert testimony at the state and federal levels. Mote educators and aquarists make sure that docent-led tours, signage in Mote Aquarium and Mote education programs reflect the scientific endeavors of the lab.

Mote employs four primary strategies for achieving its immediate and long-term goals.

1. World Class Research: Mote conducts world-class research to expand science-based conservation, sustainable use, and environmental health of marine and coastal biodiversity, habitat and resources.
2. Next Generation Science: Mote recruits and retains the best and brightest minds in science and technology through focused recruitment and training to ensure long-term prosperity of scientific enterprises.
3. Public Service: Mote translates and transfers science and technology development and research findings as a public service to increase ocean literacy and positively impact human society and the environment.
4. Infrastructure: Mote is expanding its research infrastructure to support global leadership in addressing grand challenges facing oceans and coastal ecosystems, and expanding opportunities to transition intellectual property to fuel economic growth, improving quality of life in Florida. To pave the way for this expansion, Mote will relocate its public aquarium to free up much needed laboratory space and to simultaneously double the capacity of Mote to engage a broad audience through visitorship to Mote Science Education Aquarium (Mote SEA).

Place: Mote is comprised of a research laboratory, marine animal rehabilitation hospitals and public aquarium in Sarasota, Florida; a LEED Gold certified coral research and restoration facility in the Florida Keys; a 200-acre inland aquaculture park in eastern Sarasota County and field locations in Islamorada and Key West. With the proper facilities, equipment and staff, Mote scientists are making new discoveries pertaining to the effects of man-made and natural toxins on humans and on the environment, health of wild fisheries, development of ocean technology, and restoration and health of corals and coral reefs, among numerous other focus areas.

People: With more than 40 Ph.D. scientists, 306 staff and over 1,300 trained volunteers, Mote is able to conduct groundbreaking research with over 27 diverse research programs.

Mission: The urgency of Motes mission and the compelling story of hope woven into Motes work make a strong case for on-going philanthropic and public support and continue to attract collaborative partners from around the world who enrich and support Mote research

Financial Structure: Financial support for Mote is diverse, hailing from public agencies, private foundations and corporations, individual donors, aquarium members and guests. Grants from local, state and federal agencies comprise approximately 60% of the annual operating budget while private philanthropy and earned revenue comprise the remainder of Motes income, at 30% and 10% respectively. Motes FY2024 operating budget is $37,283,910.

Governance and Long-Term View: An active Board of Trustees enthusiastically participates in Motes annual fundraising efforts and long-term planning. A newly ratified long-term plan focuses on continued innovation in marine science and the training of the next generation of marine scientists and STEM educators. It also paves the way for a significant expansion in Motes research enterprise. Mote is actively engaged in a campaign to build a larger and more accessible science education aquarium Mote SEA at a bustling nexus between Sarasota and Manatee Counties. Once the construction and move are completed, Mote will be able to upgrade its existing laboratory on City Island. The transformation of the current lab into an International Marine Science Technology & Innovation Park will position Sarasota as a marine innovation hub, expanding the capacity for scientific achievement throughout the region.

Mote has made significant progress towards its institutional goals. A few highlights include:
1. World-class research
-To date, Mote has restored more than 215,000 to Florida's reef tract. Mote is working to understand how reefs are changing so that we may protect and restore them for the future. In our research, Mote is identifying which coral species have the greatest chances chances for survival in future ocean conditions based on expected changes in climate and known disease. These corals are grown in our nursery and Mote scientists out-plant them to restore depleted reefs with the goal to rebuild these reefs in our lifetimes. While ambitious, thi
- Through the Red Tide Mitigation & Technology Development Initiative , Mote tested numerous compounds including seaweeds that are natural algaecides, new formulations of clay that can remove red tide cells and their toxins from the water, and hard surface disinfectants (quaternary ammonium compounds) that have been shown to reduce red tide cells and their toxins in preliminary experiments.
-Mote Aquaculture Research Park (MAP)is the single largest research facility in the U.S. focused on developing recirculating aquaculture systems and the only U.S. facility spawning and rearing snook for restocking. Mote reared and released over 10,000 healthy juvenile snook into local tidal waters to contribute to a robust local snook population.
2. Next Generation Science
Through its Next Generation Science: Postdoctoral Fellows Program, Mote provides research opportunities for early career scientists, giving them the freedom to pursue ambitious research agendas, to publish original research, and to mentor young scientists with an interest in the field.
3. Public Service
-Mote Aquarium hosted 378,00 visitors in 2022. Motes social media interactions increased exponentially with more than 562,385 Facebook users engaging with Motes marine science and education content. In-person education programs offered by Mote served 48,000 total participants in 2022.
4.Infrasturucture
- Mote established a land-based repository for genetically-diverse corals of multiple species at its 200-acre aquaculture park, one of only three such gene banks in the world.
-Construction is underway for the new Mote Science Education Aquarium, Mote SEA, at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota. Mote SEA will be an iconic facility at a nexus location for Sarasota and Manatee counties, and the entire southwest Florida region. Reaching nearly 700,000 visitors per year, Mote SEA will inspire the next generation of marine scientists, while serving as an economic driver for the region. Three state-of-the-art STEM learning labs inside of the new Mote SEA will bring marine science to life for thousands of school children, offered free of charge to Sarasota and Manatee county school districts. At the same time, this will allow the evolution of our City Island campus into an enhanced International Marine Science, Technology and Innovation Park.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback

Financials

Mote Marine Laboratory
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Mote Marine Laboratory

Board of directors
as of 01/09/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Sandra Stuart

Retired

Term: 2023 - 2024

Eugene Beckstein

Barabra Brizdle

Robert E. Carter

Scott Collins

Dr. Michael P. Crosby

Maurice Cunniffe

Frederick M. Derr

Richard O. Donegan

Dr. Andrew Economos

Dean H. Eisner

James D. Ericson

Robert Essner

Donald Featherman

Susan Gilmore

Judy Graham

Rod Hershberger

Barbara Jennings

Penelope Kingman

Jonathan Mitchell

Susan Molinari

Elizabeth Moore

LTC Frances Presley Rice

Alan Rose

Dr. Sam Seider

Dr. Harris Silverman

Jeanie Stevenson

Sandra K. Stuart

Skip Swan

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/8/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/09/2024

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.