Curious about things that thrive in the Gulf of Mexico? Spend a few hours at Sarasota's Mote Marine Lab and Aquarium. It features dolphins, massive manatees, sharks, giant turtles and a hundred other sea creatures. You can watch as dolphins are trained to retrieve articles, even produce artwork. Following the 2010 massive deep sea oil rig explosion just below the Louisiana coast, the not-for-profit laboratory's scientists studied the Gulf's water, bottom-dwelling organisms, sediment, oysters, clams, and seagrasses. They normally study sharks, red tide and other environmental toxins, marine mammals, sea turtles, coral reefs, fisheries, coastal ecology and aquaculture. While not the biggest or most luxurious aquarium in the nation, one finds Mote's volunteers, some retired teachers, to be both knowledgeable and helpful. Children love visiting the Mote aquarium.
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- Highly Recommended 2010