Mote Marine Laboratories gathered a panel of marine environmental scientists at the Immersion Theater on May 8th to acknowledge the growing concept of Sato-Umi, the integration of science and the community to promote the sustainable use of the marine environment. One of the speakers was Dr Tetsuo Yanagi, a professor at Kyushu University in Japan, who coined the phrase Sato Umi describing the partnership of both scientists and local citizens in the process of restoring, monitoring and sustaining marine ecosystems. Dr. Yanagi and the other speakers cited examples around the world where community members worked with scientists to restore or sustain coastal waters.

Ed Chiles, one of the early founders of START, talked about the work in nearby Cortez Village to develop mullet and mullet row as sustainable sources of seafood for both the environment and the economy.

Michael Crosby of Mote noted the valuable work by the citizen volunteers of the Sarasota Bay Watch in helping scientists seed scallops into Sarasota Bay to try and restart a viable population that thrived there years ago.

The scientists remarked how refreshing it was to visit an area where citizens through a variety of local organizations had such a long history of working to sustain their marine environment.

START has been practicing the concept of Sato-Umi since its inception back in 1995 through its partnership with Mote, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Research Institute and the Florida Department of Health in the ongoing activities of the Red Tide Alliance. In recent years, START has expanded its Sato-Umi activity through our partnership with the Sarasota Bay Watch in the effort to restore a sustainable scallop population in Sarasota Bay.

You can help this important effort by renewing your START membership on our website at or by sending a check to START, Bay Preserve, PO Box 784, Osprey, Fl 34229-0784.

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