Marine Conservation Celebration: REEF FEST 2018

Author: Lisa Larsen

Marine Conservation is critical to us all. Calling all yachtsmen, divers, snorkelers and anyone who loves the ocean.

Marine Conservation Party

You are cordially invited to REEF Fest 2018! Get Wet, Learn, Party!

Come celebrate the impact and success of marine conservation and education initiatives in the Florida Keys. Events include educational seminars, social gatherings, diving and eco-adventures alongside some of the most prestigious names in diving and marine conservation.

REEF Fest is nearly here, but there is still time to register for diving, purchase your ticket for the banquet, and plan to attend all the events! We hope to see you there!

Check out all of the details!

SUNSET KICKOFF PARTY: Thursday, Sept. 20

Marine Conservation PartyThe REEF Fest Sunset Kickoff Party is free and open to the public. It will be held at the Murray Nelson Government Center (102050 Overseas Hwy. in Key Largo). The event will begin with a picnic dinner on the bayfront lawn. From 6-7:30pm enjoy complimentary hamburgers, hot dogs, and veggie burgers and watch the sunset. Dinner will be followed by our opening marine conservation seminar: Atlantic Goliath Grouper: Changing paradigms in Florida presented by Dr. Christopher C. Koenig.


Marine Conservation PartyMarine conservation needs your help! Have you ever wanted to try a REEF survey? During REEF Fest 2018, registered participants will be able to join dedicated boat charters with Key Dives, Quiescence Diving Services, or Amy Slate’s Amoray on the mornings of Friday, Sept. 21 and Saturday, Sept. 22! Each charter will have fish surveyors and experts aboard, making it the perfect opportunity to improve your fish knowledge, and contribute to REEF’s marine life sightings database! Space is still available to dive or snorkel during REEF Fest! You can learn more and register by clicking here.


Marine Conservation Party

Sept. 21 – Open House, REEF Headquarters, 6-9pm: Visit REEF Headquarters at 98300 Overseas Hwy. for plentiful food provided by local businesses and local craft beer provided by the Florida Keys Brewing Company. Mingle with REEF’s marine conservation staff and board members during this open house sponsored by The Carrow Foundation. This event is free and open to the public.

Sept. 22 – For the Love of the Sea, 103674 Overseas Hwy., 6-10pm: Tickets are still available! Please join us at For the Love of the Sea, the annual REEF Fest banquet. Tickets include a three course meal, plus hors d’oeuvres and a full service liquor bar. Enjoy live music by Cast Away, delicious food and fun, as well as our silent auction, including dive vacation packages from Atlantis Philippines and Bill Beard’s Costa Rica! Click here to purchase your ticket to the REEF Fest banquet.

Sept. 23 – Farewell Breakfast, REEF Headquarters, 10am-12pm: End your marine conservation weekend with a continental breakfast and refreshments. Drop by anytime between 10am and noon before you head back to mainland.

Marine Conservation Party


Thursday, Sept. 20
7:30 pm: Atlantic Goliath Grouper: Changing paradigms in Florida
Dr. Christopher C. Koenig, Florida State University

Thursday, Sept. 20
7:30 pm: Atlantic Goliath Grouper: Changing paradigms in Florida
Dr. Christopher C. Koenig, Florida State University

Friday, Sept. 21
2:30: Diving in the Florida Keys: A fishy experience
Carlos and Allison Estape, REEF Volunteers and Underwater Photographers

3:30: In the wake of an Environmental Disaster: Is there a silver lining?
Dr. Martin Grosell, University of Miami

4:30: Western Atlantic Coral Reefs’ Last (Plastic) Straw: Reflections of hope
Dr. Andy Bruckner, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

Saturday, Sept. 22
2:30: Lionfish Research and Management: New directions and innovations
Dr. Alli Candelmo, REEF Invasive Species Program Coordinator

3:30: Fish Behavior and Beyond: Conservation and Connections
Dr. Caroly Shumway, REEF Executive Director

4:30: Stressed Out: Three decades of nitrogen enrichment on coral reefs of the FL Keys and Caribbean
Dr. Brian Lapointe, Florida Atlantic University

All seminars are held at the Murray Nelson Government Center (102050 Overseas Hwy. in Key Largo) and are free and open to the public.

Marine Conservation Party

REEF envisions divers and marine conservation enthusiasts actively engaging in marine conservation. With knowledge, training and the opportunity to get involved, these marine citizen scientists make significant and ongoing contributions through REEF’s strategic partnerships with government agencies, science and academic institutions, the non-profit sector, and local communities. Through REEF’s efforts, marine citizen scientists impart an ethic of stewardship to current and future generations.

Questions about REEF 2018? Please call (305) 852-0030 or email at

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