Member Highlight: Senator Marco Rubio Visits Mote To Discuss Urgent Threats In Florida’s Oceans

2019-02-25T13:28:16+00:00 February 25, 2019|
Credit: NOAA CCMA Biogeography Team

Credit: NOAA CCMA Biogeography Team

On February 21, 2019, Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium hosted Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) at its City Island campus to discuss urgent threats facing Florida’s oceans, including harmful algae blooms affecting our coastlines and the significant decline of coral reefs. Mote President & CEO, Dr. Michael P. Crosby, and science staff from a diverse range of Mote research programs shared the latest in research and technology, while explaining the urgent need for support to continue and expand their efforts.

(From Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium/ By Stephannie Kettle) — “Florida continues to experience growth in our tourism industry, with well over 100 million visitors each year, and many are coming to enjoy the beautiful and unique environment of Florida, including its coastal ecosystems and communities,” said Senator Rubio. “With the devastation caused by harmful algae blooms this past year along the Gulf Coast, and the coral disease that continues to spread through the Florida Reef Tract, the work that Mote Marine Laboratory is doing to address these issues have never been more important.”

In an op-ed originally published in the Miami Herald in Sept. 2018 and co-authored by Dr. Crosby and Senator Rubio, the devastation of the coral disease in the Keys, and the need for urgent, immediate action, was brought to light for readers. “Despite continued progress on water quality, however, it is likely that our devastated coral populations will be unable to execute a quick, natural recovery of the reef,” said the authors. “That means conservation strategies alone cannot solve this dilemma. A bold restoration program to actively assist the recovery of this ecosystem is essential, and we are closer than ever to amassing the scientific knowledge, technological tools and public investment and support needed to make reef restoration a reality.”

At the Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration in Summerland Key, Mote’s land-based coral nursery currently has over 32,000 coral fragments being raised for…

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