Former First Lady Laura Bush will speak at the 2 p.m. Wednesday Mote Boca Grande Office ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Mote Marine Laboratory officials announced the speaker late Tuesday afternoon. The event will take place at 480 East Railroad Ave., Unit 7, Railroad Plaza, Boca Grande, and mark the official unveiling of Mote's new Boca Grande Office.
The Bush family has a long connection to Charlotte Harbor and Boca Grande, where they spend Christmas and New Year holidays.
As President, George W. Bush designated the first National Marine Monuments and Laura Bush has advocated similar status for certain areas in the Gulf of Mexico.
"It is wonderful to have Mrs. Bush participate in this historical event - especially given her passion for the protection and conservation of the Gulf of Mexico," said Dr. Kumar Mahadevan, Mote president and CEO.
Mote's new satellite office will be a focal point for a grassroots effort to increase knowledge of important marine environment and the conservation of it.
The goal is to help engage the community and region in tarpon and other marine research undertaken by Mote in Charlotte Harbor and Southwest Florida. It will also highlight new research directions designed to support conservation of area fisheries and habitat.