Mote Marine Laboratory’s 2018 Ocean Fest: A Community Celebration

Underwater and outdoor enthusiasts, eco­travelers and families are encouraged to celebrate the marine environment at Mote Marine Laboratory's annual event, Mote’s Ocean Fest: A Community Celebration. Proceeds and donations from the festival support Mote Marine Laboratory’s coral reef restoration and research programs. The family ­friendly fun will take place Saturday, April 14, 2018 at Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary’s Eco-Discovery Center and Truman Waterfront Park (35 E Quay Rd, Key West, FL 33040) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

It has been said to be one of the best events in the Keys for all ages.

Join us for a day of fun, crafts, games, music, food, and shopping as we showcase our treasured marine environment while raising money for coral reef research and restoration. Mote’s Ocean Fest: A Community Celebration attendees can explore conservation and environmental exhibits, meet live animals and experience touch tanks, view and purchase wares from local marine artists and vendors, enjoy music, try their skill at active amusements and bid on silent auction items. Meet Mote scientists and researchers, along with other conservation and environmental organizations from around Florida to learn about the work they are doing and how you can help.

Find all of your 2018 event details on vendors and exhibitors in attendance, live music, silent auction items, food & beverage, and a children's fishing clinic!

Vendor Info

Mote's Ocean Fest: A Community Celebration is now recruiting vendors for our April 2018 Key West event. Sign up to join others selling homemade crafts, art, jewelry and other merchandise. Have a fun children's activity? Please join us as a vendor!

Conservation Exhibitor Info

The two elements that have made Mote a world-renowned entity capable of bringing meaningful change to the oceans are our research and the scientists conducting it every day. We want to partner with likeminded organizations to raise awareness to the public on the work we do, and how we can work together to help further our mission: The advancement of marine and environmental sciences through scientific research, education and public outreach leading to new discoveries, revitalization and sustainability of our oceans and greater public understanding of our marine resources.

Event Information

Renowned marine artist Wyland will be participating again in this year’s event with a live painting auction! Proceeds will benefit both the Wyland Foundation and Mote Marine Laboratory’s coral reef research and restoration programs.

  • Children’s open painting activity 1 – 3 p.m.
  • Wyland live painting auction 4:15 – 5:15 p.m.

Please stay tuned for a full list of participating vendors & exhibitors, and silent auction items.

Children's Fishing Clinics

During the event, Boy Scouts of America Florida Sea Base, will host two fishing clinics for children ages 7 – 12:

  • Session 1 from 11am - 1pm
  • Session 2 from 2 - 4pm

The first 100 registrants will receive a fishing rod to keep and an aquatic apparel goodie bag. These items will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis from advance registration. Limit one rod and bag per child.

A special Thank You to Coastal Conservation Association Florida for donating the rods.

A special Thank You to Tunaskin Aquatic Apparel for donating the aquatic apparel swag bags.

Live Music Event Day Food & Beverage

Mote will be working with local restaurants, food trucks, breweries, and pubs to have a variety of food, soda, and alcohol available for sale during the event. Please stay tuned for a list of participating vendors!

Contact Us

Do you have questions about Ocean Fest: A Community Celebration? Do you want to know how you can sponsor or partner with Mote for the event? Are you interested in volunteering your time? Please contact us!

Vendors, Exhibitors, Entertainment
Amy Hernden

Auction/Raffle Volunteer
Allison Delashmit

How You're Helping

Ocean Fest: A Community Celebration is an annual outreach event that takes place in the Florida Keys to raise awareness of the work Mote Marine Laboratory is doing for coral reef research & restoration, and its more than a dozen other research programs, along with the work of likeminded partner environmental organizations. The funds raised through Ocean Fest: A Community Celebration go directly to help fund coral reef research & restoration programs.

By attending Ocean Fest: A Community Celebration, you are already taking a step toward understanding the commitment it takes to positively affect the world around us – both on land and sea. We ask that you take the time to share this information with your friends, family, and loved ones so we all may inspire those around us and generations to come.

For each Protect Our Reefs license plate sold, Mote’s Protect Our Reefs program receives a direct $25 donation. This donation funding goes straight to the restoration and research of our coral reefs so the more plates that are sold, the faster we can restore our coral reefs.

If you would like to take the next step in your commitment, please consider further involvement with Mote through any of the following:

If you don’t live in the state of Florida and cannot attend Ocean Fest: A Community Celebration but want to support coral research and restoration, click the orange GIVE NOW button at the top of the page to donate!

See more from Dr. Dave Vaughan in this Documentary by The Atlantic, A Coral Reef Revival