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All Invited to Reef Fest 2019 - "From Land to Sea" Conservation is about All of Us

Reef Fest 2019 Flyer

The University of the Virgin Islands invites the general Virgin Islands community to the 9th Annual Reef Fest from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, at Yacht Haven Grande. Reef Fest promotes reef conservation and environmental awareness in the Virgin Islands. This year’s theme is "From Land to Sea." 

“Our goal is to highlight the importance of our natural resources on land and at sea and the connections between them,” said Jarvon Stout, community engagement specialist for the Virgin Islands Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (VI-EPSCoR). 

The exhilarating outdoor event will feature its usual lineup of activities to include live musical entertainment, exciting presentations, environmental exhibitions and raffle prizes. There is no admission fee and individuals of all ages are welcomed to take part in fun activities. 

"Growing from last year's event, we will be expanding our Sustainable Showdown contest, which is being coordinated by the Virgin Islands Clean Coasts program,” said Kristina Edwards, outreach coordinator, Department of Planning and Natural Resources Coastal Zone Management Division. “We are inviting several businesses and chefs to prepare lionfish as we are promoting its consumption as a means to control the population size of this invasive species."

Sustainable Showdown Contest (Reef Fest 2018)  

The Sustainable Showdown at Reef Fest will feature multiple chefs and restaurants and highlight their practice of supporting local fisheries, as well as their take on lionfish sampler dishes that helps to educate the public about the issue of the invasive lionfish and ways in which the issue can be combatted.  

Over 15 different environmental exhibitors to include the Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority (VIWMA), E.A.S.T. (Environmental Association of St. Thomas and St. John), St. Thomas Long Term Recovery Team, and the University of the Virgin Islands will take part in this year’s Reef Fest. UVI researchers will highlight key topics such as coral disease, marine debris and sea turtles during Science Talks.  

"With the onset of the Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease, we will have several exhibitors providing information on what we know thus far and what persons can do to help monitor and assist with our efforts to understand the disease,” said Howard Forbes Jr., St. Thomas  coordinator for the Virgin Islands Marine Advisory Service.  

One of the highly anticipated segments of Reef Fest is typically the Trashion Show and Reef Rap competition. The Trashion Show allows for school students to transform everyday trash into a creatively designed, fashionable costume, while the Reef Rap encourages students to craft lyrical content that promotes environmental awareness. 

Trashion Show Contest (Reef Fest 2018)

“Schools have signed up and are working hard on their Trashion Show costumes and their jingles for the Reef Rap competition,” said Imani Daniel, executive director of the St. Thomas Long Term Recovery Team. “Our Virgin Islands youth have been phenomenal in year's past and we are eagerly excited to see what they have in store for the event this year.”  

Reef Fest 2019 is made possible by generous sponsors, including: the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands, Virgin Islands Council on the Arts, Virgin Islands Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, Virgin Islands Conservation Society, and Leatherback Brewing. 

For more information about Reef Fest, contact the Public Relations Office at (340) 693-1056 or pr@uvi.edu.