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Benthic Ecology - Mote Community Partnership: Scallop Restoration Initiative

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To understand the past, present, and future ecology of Florida’s coastal waters, especially rivers and bays; and to develop scientific methods for their restoration and stewardship.

The Benthic program's focus is on the science and ecology of bottom dwelling organisms and the response of these organisms to environmental disturbance. Since the inception of the program in 1979, hundreds of research projects and monitoring studies have been conducted for Federal, State and local agencies, businesses, and industries.
The Program’s projects include shellfish restoration and monitoring in places like Pine Island Sound and Boca Ciega Bay and the investigation of “blue holes,” which are former springs and sinkholes that formed on the west Florida continental shelf during a period of lower sea level. The program also investigates coastal springs.
The Benthic Ecology Program has also coordinated large multidisciplinary projects such as environmental assessments in conjunction with other Mote research programs focused on manatees, sea turtle, fisheries, ecotoxicology, phytoplankton ecology, sharks and coral reefs.

Oil Spill Response:
Following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, Mote scientists gathered baseline samples of water, sediment, total organic carbon and bottom-dwelling organisms like oysters, clams and seagrasses from sites in Sarasota Bay, barrier island beaches and Charlotte Harbor, Fla. Scientists also assisted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Mussel Watch program in collecting oyster samples from Apalachee Bay, Fla., to the Florida Keys.

Examples of Services:

  • Benthic Monitoring and Sediment Grain Size Analysis
  • Estuary, River, Stream, and Lake Studies
  • Aquatic Biodiversity and Shoreline Surveys
  • Shellfish Surveys
  • Oyster and Scallop Restoration
  • Seagrass Monitoring and Studies
  • Hardbottom Delineation and Habitat Surveys
  • Hydrographic Surveys including Dye - Flow
  • Studies
  • Biological Effects of Remediation
  • Technology
  • Artificial Reef Modules
  • Field Crews, Boats, and Sampling Gear
  • Instrument Deployment and Retrievals
  • Scientific Diving Services to 100m depth

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Mote Marine Laboratory, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236


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