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REEF Fish & Friends is a free seminar series held at the REEF Campus in Key Largo, Florida. Each event features engaging ocean-themed presentations from guest speakers. Snorkelers, divers, and marine life enthusiasts are invited to join informal discussions and mingle with members of our friendly, ocean-minded community. Complimentary light refreshments are provided. The evening kicks off with a social from 6:15-7pm, followed by a presentation from 7-8pm. Seminars are also live-streamed on the REEF Facebook page and YouTube channel. REEF Fish & Friends is made possible by the generous support of our members. For information on how to get involved, email

If you want to be notified about our community events such as Fish & Friends, sign up to receive the monthly REEF Campus and Keys Community newsletter here.


January 9, 2024: Human Connection to the Waters of the Florida Keys
Lindsey Crews, NOAA
Recording Available Here

In the Florida Keys, our way of life is tied to the water. Join us to explore the human connections to the water in the Florida Keys, from the history of those who came before us to the many ways our community is deeply linked to water today.

February 13, 2024: Currents & Crossroads: Vision for Florida’s Ocean & Coasts
JP Brooker, Ocean Conservancy
Recording Available Here

Join us for a discussion of the greatest challenges facing Florida’s marine environment and an analysis of the potential solutions and needed interventions.

March 12, 2024: Off the Wall and Outside of the Box: Restoring Coral Reef Ecosystems with Caribbean King Crab
Dr. Jason Spadaro, Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
Recording Available Here

Dr. Jason Spadaro’s presentation focuses on the Caribbean king crab and their ability to serve as “coral gardeners,” as they consume copious amounts and types of seaweeds. His research connects crab abundance to reduced seaweed cover, resulting in improved coral restoration outcomes and ecosystem diversity and function.

April 9, 2024: Coastal Everglades Monitoring: Fish & Beyond
Anna Simmons, Audubon's Everglades Science Center

Recording Available Here

Anna is a part of a team of biologists who monitor seasonal changes in the coastal marshes of the Everglades. She will discuss her work on fish and subaquatic vegetation research projects, and how monitoring efforts are used to assess the health of the Everglades’ coastal ecosystems.

May 14, 2024: Mission: Iconic ReefsEmpowering Snorkelers and Divers to Support Coral Restoration
Madeline Cholnoky, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
Recording Available Here

Mission: Iconic Reefs is one of the largest coral restoration projects in the world, and it’s taking place in the protected waters of Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Learn how the dive industry can play a crucial role in spreading awareness about marine conservation.

June 11, 2024: Following the Fish: Hemingway in the Florida Keys
Dr. Cori Convertito, Key West Art & Historical Society
Recording Coming Soon

Ernest Hemingway, a famous writer in Key West throughout the 1930s, immersed himself in Florida Keys game fishing and did much to popularize it among fellow writers, readers and sportsmen. Cori will discuss Hemingway’s angling exploits and spotlight his conservation activities, an intriguing counterpoint to his well-known passion for boating big game fish.

July 9, 2024: Rock Harbor, Pineapple Farming, & the Connection to REEF
Brad Bertelli, Florida Keys historian, author, & Honorary Conch
Recording Coming Soon

Join Brad as he explores the history of Florida wrecker Captain Ben Baker, pineapple farming in the Florida Keys, and the Albury connection to REEF and Key Largo Grammar School, a two-room coral rock building now home to the Key Largo Moose Lodge.

August 13, 2024: The Spiky Spectacle: Long-Spined Sea Urchin's Comeback
Jim Brittsan, Owner of Sustainable Oceans and Reefs (SOAR)
Recording Coming Soon

Jim's work centers on the Long-spined Sea Urchin, Diadema antillarum, with the goal of rejuvenating coral habitats by emphasizing the critical role of herbivory in maintaining a healthy coral reef ecosystem. In his discussion, Jim will dive into his research, highlighting the importance of herbivory and specifically addressing the role of the keystone herbivore, Diadema antillarum.