Mote Marine Laboratory plans to ask Sarasota County for help in building and securing the site for its planned science education acquarium at Nathan Benderson Park.

Yesterday, Mote officials sent a formal request to the county for a long-term lease for 9 acres of land as well as $20M in financial support.

Mote President and CEO Dr. Michael Crosby told ABC-7 county commissioners already approved the concept for “some type of long-term arrangement and some level of significant financial support from the county’s Tourist Development Tax.”

The goal is to break ground on the project in 2019, with plans to open in 2021.