New laboratory will be state-of-the-art

Mote Marine’s Summerland Key home had humble beginnings after being wiped off Pigeon Key during Hurricane Georges in 1998. What started as a mangrove rehabilitation and restoration site, quickly changed to coral restoration when the team stumbled upon the micro-fragmentation process, doubling the rate of growth for the corals.

“Our 10 year goal is to plant a million corals,” said Executive Director of the Keys facility David Vaughn, who lives across the canal from the laboratory and holds his breath while kayaking to work to keep his carbon footprint as small as possible. “Our goal will happen when we break this building into tiny pieces, and build a million more corals.”

Dr. Crosby, President and CEO of Mote, added that this is a momentous occasion for coral research and restoration. “This new laboratory will have impact for centuries to come,” he said.

The new facility is slated to attract scientists from around the world with 19,000 square feet of infrastructure. “It will be an international resource,” said Crosby. The facility will also be rated to withstand a category five hurricane and have gold LEED status for eco-sustainability.


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