The position has been created after a bill in the Florida House created a new initiative for mitigating red tide.
Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium has appointed Kevin Claridge as associate vice president for sponsored research and coastal policy programs.
“The creation of this position marks the culmination of a multi-year strategy to significantly broaden the bandwidth of Mote’s sponsored research and coastal ocean policy programming,” said president and CEO Michael Crosby in a press release.
Claridge’s duties will include becoming Mote's administrator for the new Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative, a House bill signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis in June 2019. Mote and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will spearhead the initiative.
“It establishes an independent and coordinated effort among public and private research entities to develop prevention, control and mitigation technologies and approaches that will decrease the impacts of Florida red tide on the environment, economy and quality of life in Florida,” reads a statement on Mote’s website.
In addition to overseeing the red tide initiative, Claridge will oversee Mote’s Office of Research Grants, Contracts and Sponsored Programs and the Mote Marine Policy Institute, according to the press release.
“The opportunity to advance Mote's mission at such an exciting time is inspiring,” Claridge said. “Mote’s reputation as a leader in marine science is second to none, and I look forward to applying my 20 years of coastal and regulatory, public policy, science and administrative experience to benefit both Mote's mission and the health and resiliency of our coasts and oceans.”
Claridge, who most recently served as Director of the Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), joins Mote as it gears up to unveil its 10-year plan, titled Beyond 2020. The plan outlines Mote’s goals in organizing growth in the lab and aquarium’s research, public service, human resource capital and infrastructure.