When it comes to marine conservation, South Florida outshines the rest with diligence and dedication for the cause. If you want to latch on to that wave and ride it to success, REEF Fest 2015 is just the sort of event to set you on that course to completion.
REEF Fest 2015 takes place from September 24 – September 27, 2015, in one of Florida’s ocean paradises, Key Largo. This four day event is a mixture of diving, free educational seminars and planned parties. The invitation to help celebrate 22 years of marine conservation success is extended to the public by the REEF Environmental Education Foundation. Pre-registration will be required for the majority of activities and seminars. The foundation has consistently made a huge impact on preserving the magnificent marine world in the Florida Keys.
All the diving takes place Friday through Sunday mornings, as local dive operators invite attendees to see all the beauty of the underwater world that the Florida Keys is so well-known for. The choice is yours of which dive operation you choose to go with, but, each booking that is made, allows the dive operator to donate between 15 – 20% back to REEF.org as a token of support for the fine work being done by the foundation, while allowing them the opportunity to continue that tremendous work to fruition. Divers can look forward to amazing visibility, identifying fish species, coral formations and maybe even seeing a turtle or two.
The scheduled free workshops will hold a wealth of pertinent information on marine conservation. Although they are free, it is best to pre-register as soon as possible to guarantee a spot. The seminars/workshops will be conducted at Murray E. Nelson Government Center in Key Largo, MM 102. Some of the interesting topics that will be covered over the four days include Florida Keys Ecology, Reef Fish Conservation in the Keys, Restoring Coral Reefs, Sharks: Myth vs. Reality, Aquarius: Living Underwater, Invasive Lionfish: Reseach & Results and more. Some of the most knowledgeable masters of the ocean will be leading these seminars/workshops such as Potts & Aileen Soto, Ken Nedimyer, Ellie Splain, Lad Akins and more.
As tradition has it, after a full day of diving and learning, it is time to wind down and relax ‘Florida Keys’ style. Socializing and watching the gorgeous sunset is just a preview of what is to come. There will be a welcome party on Thursday, September 24th at The Caribbean Club overlooking the water. On Friday evening, September 25th, head down to the REEF Headquarters, not only to see the oldest building in the Upper Keys, but to participate in the Open House with a raffle, appetizers and a cash bar with beer and wine. Ned DeLoach, author and marine photographer, will be on hand to sign his book, ‘Ned DeLoach’s Diving Guide to Underwater Florida.’ On Saturday evening, September 27th, it will be a celebration of sorts as you connect with old and new friends over one of Florida’s classic dishes, Valencian Paella, to look back over the last couple of days. Along with drinks and dinner, The Scuba Cowboy will be playing divers’ favorite tunes. As an added bonus, live and silent auctions will be held throughout the evening! You could win an incredible all-inclusive dive package from one of REEF Fest’s platinum sponsors:
- Atlantis Philippines Dive Resorts and Liveaboards
- Explorer Ventures: Adventures in Liveaboard Diving
- Bay Island Yacht Charters M/V Caribbean Pearl II: Luxury Liveaboard Adventure
The venue will be at 103674 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, the open air venue next to Quiescence Diving Services Inc. Tickets can be purchased at the REEF Fest website for $45 per person. Since tickets are limited, it is best to get your tickets as soon as possible.
Make it a memorable stay as five of the Keys famous hotels are working with the Foundation to offer lodging at the REEF Corporate rate. Many businesses have graciously agreed to support REEF Fest 2015 through discounts, donations, and logistical support, including: Marriott Beach Resort, Courtyard Marriott, Holiday Inn, Marina Del Mar, Caribbean Club, Amoray Dive Resort, Conch Republic Divers, Islamorada Dive Center, Key Dives, Horizon Divers, Quiescence, Coral Reef Park Co., Inc. and Blue Water Divers. ScubaBoard has spread the word far and wide, notifying divers about this upcoming event.
What a fantastic way to see out the month of September and gain a greater perspective on how each and every diver can do their part to maintain the beauty of the ocean and the generations of marine life. All additional information can be found at REEF Fest 2015.