2011 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Conference
Mote was created in 1954 by philanthropist Anne Vanderbilt, whose family owned 36,000 acres of land near Placida on Gaspirilla Bay. She convinced renowned marine researcher Eugenie Clark to move there the following year, and together they created the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory.
By 1960, the success of the lab made it clear that a bigger facility was needed.
Meanwhile, Sarasota County, the City of Sarasota, and local Chamber of Commerce officials had mounted a campaign to attract a research facility to Sarasota. As a result, Cape Haze Marine Laboratory moved to the southern tip of Siesta Key in Sarasota County. The center was later renamed Mote Marine Laboratory after William R. Mote and his family, who were instrumental in the growth of the facility. In 1978, officials moved the lab to its current location on City Island.
Today Mote covers more than 200 acres at five locations, with an annual operating budget of $23 million, a staff of about 250 and more than 1,400 volunteers. More than 400,000 people visit Mote each year.