National Wildlife Federation, Mote Lab Team Up for Marine Conservation

Partnership will advance science-based conservation and sustainable use programs related to marine biodiversity, healthy habitats and natural resources.

06-07-2011 // Aileo Weinmann
coral reef photo

Two of America’s leading forces for environmental education and conservation — the National Wildlife Federation and Mote Marine Laboratory — announced agreement today on a long-term partnership advancing science-based conservation and sustainable use programs related to marine biodiversity, healthy habitats and natural resources. By joining forces on public outreach and education related to stable and sustainable use of resources, NWF and Mote hope to address numerous threats to the marine environment and have a positive impact on public policy challenges.

The Memorandum of Understanding describing the five-year partnership will be signed today in Washington, DC during Capitol Hill Oceans Week.

“From the Gulf oil disaster to ocean acidification fueled by climate change, the threats to America’s marine life and habitats have never been greater,” said Larry Schweiger, National Wildlife Federation president and CEO. “Now is the time to combine the strengths of our two great organizations to inspire Americans to face these challenges together.”

The National Wildlife Federation, celebrating its 75th anniversary, has nearly 4 million members and supporters whose interests align with our focus on efforts to protect wildlife and habitats, find global warming solutions, and connect people to nature.

Mote Marine Laboratory is an independent nonprofit organization that has been a leader in marine research since it was founded in 1955. Today, Mote includes seven centers specializing in marine and coastal research and seamlessly incorporates public outreach as a key part of its mission through formal educational programs, digital distance learning technology and through the public Mote Aquarium.

Advancing the Greater Good

This agreement to work together on specific projects will allow both organizations to advance the greater good of marine conservation and expand both organizations’ ability to attend to conservation threats arising in the symbiotic connection between terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

“For more than 55 years, Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium has been committed to marine research and sharing the information we learn with the public through education and outreach programs,” said Dr. Kumar Mahadevan, Mote president and CEO. “Mote recently unveiled its new 2020 Vision and Strategic Plan to guide us as we move forward with a renewed emphasis on tying our scientific research to wider conservation and outreach efforts. We’re excited to begin a new partnership with the National Wildlife Federation to further the goals we have in common.”

“As our members work with policymakers to protect our marine ecosystems, they want to make sure America’s policies are based on the best science available – both for the challenges we face now and the ones we can’t see coming,” said John Hammond, regional executive director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Southeast Regional Center in Atlanta. “With Mote Marine Laboratory’s tried and true resources and trusted local and national reputation, this partnership is a natural fit.”

Dr. Michael Crosby, senior vice president for research at Mote, said that initially the organizations will work together to establish an innovative research, education and outreach initiative focused on science-based coral reef ecosystem restoration in the face of increasing sea surface temperatures and ocean acidification. “This agreement provides a vehicle for us to build on Mote’s strength as an internationally respected scientific enterprise and the National Wildlife Federation’s strong advocacy efforts to create solutions for the challenges related to long-term conservation and sustainable use of ocean resources.”

Related Resources
  • Oil Spill
    The Long Road to Recovery 

    Wetlands and Wildlife One Year Into the Gulf Oil Disaster

  • Coral Reefs
    Threats from Global Warming 

    Higher sea temperatures from global warming have already caused major coral bleaching events, and longer-lasting and more extensive bleaching events are on the rise.

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