13 March 2019
KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Ocean aficionados can celebrate the unique marine environment of the Florida Keys, which includes the continental United States’ only living coral barrier reef, during Mote Marine Laboratory’s 2019 Ocean Fest in Key West.
Set for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 13, the family-friendly festival is to feature live music, art, action-packed activities for kids, crafts and food vendors, games, educational exhibits and more
The free-admission event is presented by the Florida-based Mote Marine Laboratory and takes place at Key West’s Truman Waterfront Park on East Quay Road. Proceeds benefit coral restoration efforts by Mote’s Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research and Restoration on Summerland Key.
Attendees at the lively festival can explore conservation and environmental exhibits from Keys and Florida groups, discover live animals and touch tanks, view and purchase the creations of local marine artists and craftspeople, rock to the sounds of live music, bid on silent auction items and vie for a variety of prizes.
Scientists and researchers from Mote Marine Laboratory and other organizations are to be on hand to provide insights into their work and ways people can help preserve the marine environment.
World-renowned marine life artist Wyland is to be a special guest, painting with attending kids and auctioning his artistry to support ocean conservation.
Festival attendees are encouraged to visit the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center adjacent to Truman Waterfront Park. A visitor facility for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, the center features exhibits about the regional ecosystem including a living reef exhibit created by Mote.
Founded in 1955, Mote is an independent nonprofit research organization based in Sarasota, Florida. Its Summerland Key center is open for complimentary public tours from 10-11 a.m. Tuesdays and 3-4 p.m. Fridays.
Event information: moteoceanfest.org
Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
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