Mote Promotes Marine Literacy

Greta the Great White Shark, Natasha the Turtle and other oceanic friends will arrive at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium on Dec. 9, 2017 as part of Mote’s newest exhibit, “Sea Debris: Awareness Through Art,” featuring “Washed Ashore.”

“Sea Debris” will be on display through early June 2018 and will include larger-than-life, marine-inspired sculptures made entirely out of plastic gathered from the Oregon coastline. These handmade pieces will range from 15 feet long and 10 feet wide to seven feet long and eight feet high. Realistic but whimsical, the sculptures will fascinate and educate children, the young at heart and all those who seek creative solutions to environmental challenges.

“As a leader in marine literacy, Mote is always seeking to display exhibits that not only entertain our guests, but also teach them how they can be good stewards of the ocean,” said Evan Barniskis, assistant vice president of Mote Aquarium. “‘Sea Debris’ is a fun and creative way to start the conversation regarding an issue that is affecting all of the world’s oceans on a macro- and microscopic scale. It is our hope that this exhibit opens guests’ eyes, not just to the problem, but to the solutions regarding sea pollution.”

After viewing the exhibit, guests can enjoy marine debris-related events such as beach cleanups, science cafes, a film festival and special lectures. For example, on September 16th at 5:30, check out the International Ocean Film Tour hosted by Mote, featuring numerous marine-related films. Visit Mote’s website for more information about the “Sea Debris” exhibit and related activities.

Did you know?

Mote’s Sea Turtle Patrol monitors local nests while walking the beach every morning; you will often find them picking up trash along the way. In 2015, Mote biologists found that 72% of sea turtle hatchlings who were pushed back onshore each had between two and 13 pieces of plastic in their intestines. Per the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program (SDRP), a Chicago Zoological Society Program in collaboration with Mote, one of the largest threats to local dolphins and small whales are loose pieces of recreational fishing gear, as these items lead to entanglement, hooking and ingestion of monofilament line and metal hooks.

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