Marine Conservation to Highlight Mote’s Ocean Fest in Key West April 20

Just when you thought Key West couldn't get any more ocean-centric, the Mote Marine Laboratory is gearing up to make a splash with its 2024 Ocean Fest. Scheduled for April 20, smack-dab in the middle of the Florida Keys’ protected marine sanctuary, this shindig is more than just a nod to the big blue—it's a call to arms for ocean lovers and conservationists alike. And hey, it's free, so mark your calendars for a day at Truman Waterfront Park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Why this date, you ask? It's just two days shy of Earth Day, making it the perfect prelude to a global eco-awareness party.

Ocean Fest is where you can dive deep (pun intended) into a sea of eco-themed activities while soaking up some knowledge on how to keep our marine backyard thriving. This gig is Mote Marine Laboratory's way of spreading the word about their life's work. Coming all the way from Sarasota, these folks have their fingers in many pies—or should we say, oceans—with operations stretching from the Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration to coral nurseries dotting Islamorada and Key Largo.

Expect a day filled with the brightest minds in marine conservation ready to share their insights, interactive booths that bring the ocean’s wonders a little closer to land, and, of course, the essentials: live tunes, grub, and local brews. The kiddos won't be left high and dry, thanks to a plethora of activities in the Kids Zone and a fishing clinic designed just for them.

The cherry on top? Every penny raised during Ocean Fest will fuel Mote's mission to restore our coral reefs, so you're partying for a cause. Before you sail off into the sunset, take a detour to the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center right next door. It's an immersive dive into the sanctuary’s ecosystem, featuring Mote's very own coral nursery exhibit. Dive into for all the nitty-gritty on this can't-miss ocean extravaganza.