Mote Marine Laboratory’s first annual Ocean Fest: A Community Celebration is set for Saturday, Dec. 1 at Founders Park in Islamorada. The fun and activities go from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

With food, drinks, a kids’ zone and conservation and artisan vendors, it’s a good time for all. Like-minded folks get together to share ideas and a beautiful afternoon.

Pasta Pantaleo will be painting live on stage. At the end of theperformance, attendees will be invited to bid on this live auction painting to support Mote Marine Laboratory.

The kids’ zone features fishing clinics and the first 50 children will receive a free rod and reel. Have the little ones participate in the Save The Sea scavenger hunt — fill out every square and bring it to the welcome booth for a gift, while supplies last.

Mote is an independent, nonprofit marine research institution made up of renowned scientists who believe that conservation and sustainable use of oceans originates with research and education. Beginning in a tiny shed in Placida, Florida, Mote’s efforts have expanded to include a gamut of programs, campuses and outreach.

In the Keys, Mote has the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary’s Eco-Discovery Center in Key West. Inside, visitors can view the Mote Living Reef Exhibit that educates on the public and private collaborations to tackle complex issues of preservation and enhancing the marine environment. Also in the Keys is Mote’s International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration. Located in the lower Keys, the center has easy access to a variety of habitats including reefs, sea-grass meadows, mangrove forests and communities. Research and education programs conducted at the center include coral reef restoration, coral reef science and monitoring, marine aquaculture research and ocean acidification. Mote has also added its presence to the Florida Keys History & Discovery Center in the Upper Keys with a coral reef expedition exhibit.

Here’s the whole schedule:
11 a.m.: Festival opens
11 to 11:30 a.m.: Pirate Radio Broadcast
11:30 a.m.: Emily Springsteen
12:45 p.m.: Lower Mat Cats Band
2 p.m.: Lady A Band
3:30 p.m.: Howard Livingston& Mile Marker 24 Band
4:30 p.m.: Auction! Pasta’s live performance art
5 p.m.: Festival ends


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