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Beckstein Charitable Fund of Manatee Community Foundation Awards $250,000 to Mote SEA

The Beckstein Charitable Fund of Manatee Community Foundation has awarded a $200,000 grant to the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium’s Science Education Aquarium (SEA). The Fund has provided $250,000 to Mote SEA since 2018.

“Gene and Anne Beckstein have invested in the transformational growth of many organizations with regional and national impact over the years, including Manatee Performing Arts Center, Southeastern Guide Dogs, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County, and Mote Marine Aquarium,” said Susie Bowie, executive director of Manatee Community Foundation. “They are true representatives of the humble and generous givers that support our community.”

Rendering of Mote SEA

Mote SEA is being planned for 12 acres in the Sarasota County-owned Nathan Benderson Park. The site will double the number of residents and visitors within an hour’s drive of Mote’s outreach facility. Its interactive teaching labs will be accessible to all schools in the region, including no-cost opportunities, so that each child has the chance to discover marine science and technology, first-hand.

“Our community is so very fortunate to have leading Manatee County philanthropists Gene and Anne Beckstein embrace Mote’s vision of ‘Oceans for All,’” said Mote President & CEO Dr. Michael P. Crosby. “Their leadership gift to this campaign for the Science Education Aquarium is setting the pace to ensure the new facility’s educational programs become a reality for all the K-12 school children in Manatee County.”

Learn more about Mote’s SEA at