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Reef Fest 2015 to Feature Environmental Fun, Facts & Free Giveaways

UVI Reef Fest poster image

The community is invited to celebrate the ocean environment at Reef Fest 2015, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Saturday, Nov. 7, at Coral World Ocean Park. Reef Fest is designed to encourage the Virgin Islands community to spur efforts to protect the territory’s reefs and to augment awareness of the importance of all marine resources. The theme is “Promoting Reef Conservation and Environmental Awareness in the Virgin Islands.” This fun-filled event is free for all children and their families. Shuttle service will be provided to take participants from their vehicles along the Smith Bay road area, right to Coral World.

Reef Fest will feature science presentations, marine-life exhibits, environmental booths, raffle prize giveaways, live music and much more. Virgin Islands youth will present “Reef Raps” for the annual competition.  A cash prize is provided for the first place winner. There will also be interactive marine educational games and Dr. Richard Nemeth, UVI research professor of zoology and marine biology, will talk about the lifecycle of the Nassau Grouper.

“Reef Fest is one of the most important environmental events held each year,” said Howard Forbes, Jr., Virgin Islands Marine Advisory Service (VIMAS) coordinator on St. Thomas. “This event raises awareness about coral reefs, a valuable ecosystem and natural resource, which must be protected.” The community will also have an opportunity to learn of current threats that coral reefs face and what UVI is currently doing to better understand how to reduce harmful impacts, he said. 

“At Reef Fest adults can obtain information about the various natural resources here in the Virgin Islands, while children can enjoy fun educational opportunities,” said Valerie Peters, marketing director for Coral World. “We will have awesome prize giveaways such as a seven night stay at Wyndham Resorts vacation ownerships anywhere in the world, as well as other hotel stays, kayak trips, and much more.”

This year, Reef Fest will highlight the marine debris issue. Any form of trash or garbage that enters the ocean is a significant problem,” said Forbes. “We are turning that trash into art to raise awareness about this issue.” 

Similar exhibits will be available at “Art by the Sea” to be held on Nov. 21, at the Reichhold Center field, in conjunction with the Agricultural Food Fair.  

Reef Fest is a Virgin Islands Marine Advisory Service (VIMAS) and Blue Flag USVI event held at Coral World Ocean Park. Visit http://vimas.uvi.edu for more information.