This year’s annual REEF Fest was a whirlwind of diving, social gatherings, and conservation-themed seminars. From September 20-23, over 250 REEF supporters from around the world joined us in Key Largo, Florida, to celebrate marine conservation and REEF’s 25th anniversary. The four days were full of keynote speakers, delicious food, REEF fish surveys, and the opportunity to mingle with fellow ocean enthusiasts. 

REEF Fest attendees spent the mornings in the water conducting REEF surveys with Amoray Dive Resort, Key Dives, and Quiescence. After dropping off their fins, they engaged in seminars presented by Dr. Christopher Koenig, Carlos and Allison Estapé, Dr. Martin Grosell, Dr. Andy Bruckner, Dr. Alli Candelmo, Dr. Caroly Shumway, and Dr. Brian Lapointe. The presentations left guests with a deeper understanding of the challenges that face marine ecosystems, as well as potential solutions that are being developed to combat these issues. There were plenty of social events, including an open house at REEF Headquarters and the “For the Love of the Sea” banquet, featuring live music by Cast Away, food catered by Mangrove Mikes, a raffle and silent auction prizes. The four days invited both long-term REEF members and prospective new members to share their passion for marine conservation, and we are already looking forward to next year’s REEF Fest, October 17-20, 2019. We hope to see you there, and can’t wait to celebrate another successful year of marine conservation! 

Many thanks to those who made REEF Fest possible this year: The Murray Nelson Government Center, Centennial Bank, Florida Keys Brewing Company, the local restaurants and volunteers who provided food for our Friday night open house, our generous auction supporters, and all of those who attended.