KEY LARGO, Florida Keys — Ocean lovers who enjoy diving, snorkeling, paddleboarding, kayaking or glass-bottom boat tours are invited to explore and learn more about Florida Keys coral reefs during the annual REEF Fest, Thursday through Sunday, Sept. 20-23, in Key Largo.
Hosted by the Key Largo–based nonprofit Reef Environmental Education Foundation, the REEF Fest lineup of diving and snorkeling charters and presentations by renowned marine experts is designed to celebrate the positive impacts of marine conservation on the Florida Keys and around the world.
Evening social events boast food, drinks and fun with friends old and new. All events are open to the public.
A Thursday evening social kicks off the weekend at 6 p.m. with a casual picnic dinner and a seminar on the Atlantic goliath grouper with marine research ecologist Dr. Christopher Koenig. The event takes place at the Murray Nelson Government and Cultural Center, mile marker 102 bayside.
The Friday and Saturday schedules are filled with morning reef dives and snorkel trips with area outfitters, followed by afternoon presentations from ocean experts.
Saturday evening, attendees are invited to join staff and board members at the newly updated REEF Interpretive Center for a 6-9 p.m. social open house featuring locally crafted beer, wine, appetizers and raffle prizes.
Saturday evening also brings the annual Love of the Sea open-air dinner banquet featuring hors d’oeuvres, a three-course meal, full-service bar, music and a large silent auction. The limited attendance, ticketed event is priced at $65 per person.
A farewell breakfast is planned for Sunday morning.
Seminars held at the Murray Nelson Government Center are free, as are Thursday and Friday evening social events. Pre-registration online is recommended.