More about Mote

More about Mote Beach Tea

Yes, Mote Beach Tea is a delicious caffeine-free herbal fruit infusion.  One of our bestselling teas.

As a hot tea, you get a bit of tropical sweetness that can transport you to a hammock near the sea.  As an iced tea, Mote is both incredibly refreshing and wonderfully healthy.  No sugar added, powerfully hydrating, and with hibiscus being one of the ingredients, the tea is packed with vitamins and minerals.  And the red color is gorgeous.  You can learn more about Mote Beach tea from an earlier post here.

Mote Beach Tea is an herbal fruit infusion from Local Tea Company in Sarasota, florida and celebrates Mote Marine Laboratory

I want to share some details very dear to my heart about Mote Marine Laboratory.  You may know or suspect that we contribute a portion of sales of Mote Beach Tea as a charitable donation back to Mote.  Each quarter, I send a report detailing each of the forms we sell the tea in; Biodegradeable sachets, loose-leaf and 1 gallon Ice Tea bullets, and our two channels, online purchases, and sales to our Serving Partners.

Along with this report, I send a check.  And every quarter, about a week later, I get a letter from Mote thanking me for the donation and letting me know how much they appreciate our partnership.  I also get a sticker, the round blue logo with a shark in the middle.  I love getting those stickers, I love getting those letters, and I love working with Mote.  To a person, Mote is a group of the highest quality people, all passionate and committed to the world undersea.

Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium

Over the years, Local Tea Company has participated in many Mote fundraising activities.  There was a Halloween event where I wore an Earl Grey costume.  Glynis was Black Rose, but no pictures seem to exist.  The ‘Under the Sea Gala’ is always one of the favorite annual events of Sarasota’s busy social calendar.  I did meet the Shark Lady and one of the Founders of Mote, Dr. Eugenie Clark, when she visited Selby Gardens.

I volunteer for two different Mote initiatives, Sea Turtles and Dolphins, and thought I would take a moment and tell you a little bit about both of them.

Sea Turtle Patrol

Every Tuesday from April to October for the past 3 years, Dianne and I find ourselves on the beach at civil sunrise.  That is 15 minutes before the actual sunrise.  We walk about a mile looking for sea turtle activity.  Early in the season, we are looking for new nests and crawls.  Then, towards the end of the season, we are looking for signs of sea turtle hatches.  In between, we check each nest for any disturbances either by human activity or critters.

Mote Sea Turtle Conservation Program logo

All we really do is note the activity and then call in the scientists.  The Sea Turtle staff and interns do all the real work documenting, tracking, and protecting Sea Turtles.  We are a part of a huge volunteer network that walks the entire coastline monitoring sea turtle activity every day.  This data is shared with all the other sea turtle patrols along the Gulf Coast and the Atlantic coast.

Lido Key

Last week, we found a few hatched nests.  We found and followed the tiny turtle trails trying to find any disoriented babies.  They are a little smaller than a credit card but move pretty fast for their size.  The disoriented ones can end up in some pretty crazy spots…crab holes, footprints, and then more dangerous spots near the road or under vending machines.

Last Tuesday, I collected 6 healthy babies and helped them to the surf.  The females will return in about 30 years to a nearby beach, not as precise as spawning salmon, but somewhere in the area to nest.

Baby Sea Turtles on the beach

I could go on but will end by saying the Mote Sea Turtle team is amazing.  Kristen, Kathy, Rachel, and everyone else on the team are wonderful people.  And Dianne and I love doing our small part.  Walking on the beach at sunrise is a great way to start any day, and helping little sea turtles is special.  They are always in need of funds, so if you feel inclined, here is a link to donate.

Dolphins

The other group I volunteer with is the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program (SDRP). For 50 years, they have been studying the wild dolphin population in Sarasota and then applying that knowledge to help dolphins worldwide.  Randy Wells is the Program Director, and here is a link to what they do.  Their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are fantastic follows.Sarasota Dolphin Research Program logo at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota Florida

I do help with local dolphin emergencies, like the disentanglement of a young male in April 2019.  And I help with the annual health assessment that brings marine experts and veterinarians from around the world to Sarasota.  You may also see the SDRP boats out on the water.  The group observes dolphins at least 10 days each month, visually tracking dolphins and their location.  They have binders filled with images of all known dolphin dorsal fins.  The SDRP team often knows the individual dolphin at a glance, like you would recognize a friend.

Randy Wells

This group is, simply put, amazing!  I consider myself lucky to be a small part of their work. Dr. Randy Wells started as an intern in 1970.  He has committed his life to Dolphin’s research.  The term ‘world-renowned’ and ‘foremost expert’ are often casually tossed about these days.  Randy IS all of those and more in the Marine Mammal world.  He is world-renowned and the leading expert on dolphins.  And he lives here in Sarasota.  Randy is assisted by Aaron, Jason, Katie, Kim, Shauna, Sunnie, Krystan, and many more worldwide.  To the entire SDRP family, thank you for what you do.  And thank you for letting me help.

Dolphins in Sarasota Bay

They also are always in search of funds, so here is a link to donate.  And to celebrate 50 years, they are holding a Virtual Zoom Party on October 5, 2020, that you can join here.

So while we have created Mote Beach Tea, we contribute to Mote’s operating fund with your purchases.  There is more to the Mote story, with many initiatives ongoing.  Go, learn, contribute, and, if nothing else, enjoy a cuppa Mote Beach Tea knowing you are making the undersea world a better place.

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Category: Herbal Tea, Local Treasures, Tea Journey

Tags: Best teas, caffeine free, Dolphin Research, Dr Eugenie Clark, Duranko, earl grey, Eugenie Clark, fruit infusion, Herbal Tea, Local Tea Co, mote, Mote Aquarium, Mote Marine Lab, Randy Wells, sarasota, Sarasota Bay, Sarasota Dolphin, Sea Turtle, Sea Turtle Conservation, Sea Turtle Patrol, Shark Lady, sip locally, SRQ, tea blog, Tea Journey