Activities and education initiatives include a lineup of seminars, social gatherings and diving opportunities at America’s best dive sites along fish-filled coral reefs, accompanied by some of the most prestigious names in diving and marine preservation.
Festivities begin Thursday with afternoon seminars followed by a welcome party at the Caribbean Club, a setting for the Humphrey Bogart film “Key Largo” and a breathtaking sunset locale situated at mile marker (MM) 104.
Friday and Saturday are full days with diving in the mornings, seminars in the afternoons and social events in the evenings.
Attendees can meet famed underwater naturalist and photographer Ned DeLoach, who is to sign books at a Friday evening open house. A celebration dinner party Saturday features live music by The Scuba Cowboy, silent and live auctions and a three-course meal highlighted by Valencian paella, a classic southern Florida dish. Visit http://www.reef.org/REEFFest2015/socialevents.
Each day of REEF Fest offers opportunities to book with area dive operators to join ocean experts on fish ID surveys, coral nursery, wreck and lionfish dives. A percentage of dive charter proceeds benefit REEF’s ocean conservation programs. Visit www.reef.org/REEFFest2015/diving.
Free educational seminar topics include Fish ID, The Lives of Blennies, Fish Behavior, Grouper Moon, Invasive Lionfish and more. Also scheduled is a presentation by Marty “Mr. Big” Snyderman, well known for his photographic expeditions with whales and sharks as well as other big animal adventures.
All seminars area free, but pre-registration is recommended. Each is held at the Murray Nelson Government Center, MM 102 bayside. Visit www.reef.org/REEFFest2015/seminars.
Specially priced REEF Fest accommodations are available at several Key Largo hotels. For details, visit www.reef.org/REEFFest2015/lodging.
Event information: www.reef.org/REEFFest2015 or 305-852-0030