Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium officially broke ground on its new Science Education Aquarium at Nathan Benderson Park.

The new 110,000-square-foot aquarium will feature more than 1 million gallons of exhibits.

Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium officially broke ground on its new Science Education Aquarium (Mote SEA) at Nathan Benderson Park, which is projected to open in early 2023.

The new aquarium will be a 110,000-square-foot hub for marine science education and outreach, featuring more than 1 million gallons of exhibits with marine life and scientific displays from around the world. It is projected to double the attendance of the current Mote Aquarium on City Island; forecasted economic impacts include $280 million from construction and $28 million per year from operations.

Mote SEA will have interactive state-of-the-art STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teaching labs and offer free educational programming to more than 65,000 students from Sarasota and Manatee county schools. The Mote facility on City Island will be used for Mote’s growing science and technology programs, providing more facilities for expanded research.

Originally published at sarasotamagazine