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Hurricane Irma impacts Mote Marine Laboratory in Summerland Key

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SUMMERLAND KEY, FL (WWSB) – Mote Marine Laboratory’s Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration took a beating from Hurricane Irma.

As the southernmost marine laboratory in the continental U.S., Mote’s IC2R3 is a unique “collaboratorium” for coral reef research and restoration, providing vessel, dive, field and lab support for visiting scientists and educators.

Thankfully, since the lab was recently built, it was built to withstand category 5 conditions.

Aerial view of Mote marine lab in Summerland Key

Aerial view of Mote Marine Lab in Summerland Key.

Mote scientists were extremely fortunate and are grateful that IC2R3 was built to remain structurally intact and operational through such a dangerous storm.

The entire building had minimal damage and as Hurricane Irma passed, the backup systems for electricity kept everything fully functional.

However, the outside of the building wasn’t as fortunate. With wind and storm surge, many of the outside infrastructures, like the coral raceway systems, were severely impacted.

The road to recovery for full “normal” research operations at IC2R3 will likely be on the order of months. 

Mote Marine damage in Summerland Key

Want to help?

Donate to support Mote staff: Select Employee Disaster Relief Fund

IC2R3 Hurricane Relief Fund: 

Donate at to help keep IC2R3 in excellent working condition for Mote scientists and colleagues. Select IC2R3 Hurricane Irma Fund.