Founders Garden Club of Sarasota has provided a $20,000 grant to Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium located in Sarasota, Florida to provide support for their study in determining the effects of micro-plastics ingestion on coral health and disease.
Currently, a new and poorly understood disease is ravaging the Florida reef tract. Mote Marine Laboratory is playing a leadership role in a collaborative response. By determining the mechanism of transmission, Mote has the best chance of preventing the spread of the disease. One hypothesis is that micro-plastics, that is, very small pieces of plastic waste found in the ocean, are spreading this disease. Funding by Founders Garden Club will, in part, allow Mote scientists to determine if this is true. The Mote research team will share this information with policy makers and management agencies to implement regulations that may help prevent the spread of the disease further.