MANATEE COUNTY - Mote Marine Laboratory is asking Manatee County to contribute $15 million toward the construction of its proposed aquarium at Nathan Benderson Park. The lakefront park is located just south of the Sarasota–Manatee line, so Manatee County may benefit from having the aquarium in close proximity, as well as Sarasota County.

 Manatee County Commission Chairman Stephen Jonsson said he received a letter from Mote President and Chief Executive Michael Crosby requesting the financial support. In his letter, Crosby emphasized that Mote Science Education Aquarium(SEA) would support 260 direct and indirect jobs and generate $28 million in annual economic impacts for the two–county area.

So far, donors have provided or pledged more than $30 million toward the Mote Aquarium.