A rendering of the planned Mote facility

The Sarasota County Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved a series of agreements with Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium to move forward with Mote's plans for its new Science Education Aquarium at Nathan Benderson Park. The agreements allow Mote to access the property in order to begin due diligence before construction and begins the process of transferring the property to Mote. The Mote facility will take up 110,000 square feet, with more than 1 million gallons of exhibits featuring marine life and scientific displays from around the world; on-site diving programs; a science, technology, engineering and math resource center for students, teachers and the general public; conference and event space; educational galleries; workforce training labs and more.