SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium is partnering with the City of Anna Maria to build a new marine science education and public outreach center at the Anna Maria Pier.
It has been unanimously approved by the city’s commission and signed by Mayor Dan Murphy and Mote President and CEO Dr. Michael P. Crosby.
This project allows construction on the 1,800 square foot space located at the Pier. It should take about six months to build.
The plan includes several animal exhibits and interactive exhibits:
Live Animal Exhibits
- Sportfish: This exhibit will showcase animals that fishermen might encounter, such as grunts, sheepshead, and snappers
- Grassflats: This exhibit will showcase animals that inhabit grassflats, such as filefish, burrfish, trunkfish, and toadfish
- Schooling fish: This exhibit will showcase schooling fish that are normally called baitfish, such as silversides and sardines
- Invertebrate Touch Exhibit: This exhibit will let guests feel things like live sea urchins, sea cucumbers, sea stars, slipper lobsters, and horseshoe crabs
- Sportfish identification: A digital interactive that lets guests explore a vast array of sportfish that live in Florida, many of which guests can find when fishing at the pier
- Sounds of the sea: A digital interactive that gives guests the chance to explore the sounds that fish make when under the ocean. Mote scientists have been studying these noises for years and will be able to share this with pier guests
- Tabletop educational items that will include a variety of science tools, like microscopes, scales, measuring tools, anatomy models, biofacts, and interactive games/activities
- Interpretive graphics that will show the local area and what can be seen from the pier -- above and below the ocean
The Mote’s education team will also provide regular programming for the public that will help them understand the area’s native flora and fauna. They will also teach conservation-minded fishing practices.
The goal? To show the importance of the marine ecosystem here on the Suncoast.