For those of you who love all things ocean, the perfect event is returning for its ninth year on December 1. Bring the whole family out to a fun, educational, and free experience at Founders Park in Islamorada. The Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium is once again celebrating Mote's Islamorada Ocean Fest!

Though Mote has celebrated Ocean Fest for the past eight years in Key West, this will be the very first year in Islamorada. Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium is local to Sarasota but serving the ocean and marine wildlife all over Florida. Ocean Fest showcases Mote will not be the only nonprofit providing education and awareness at the event. Other ocean-loving organizations such as NOAA, SeaCamp, Reef Relief, and others will also be lending their support to the celebration of sea life.

Allison Delashmit is the Community Relations and Communications Manager for the Florida Keys section of Mote Marine. As the coordinator for this event, she described Ocean Fest as “a whole celebration of our oceans.”

Allison pointed out two ultimate goals for Ocean Fest, saying, “ It’s important to Mote that the communities that we live and serve in understand who Mote is and what our Coral Research and Restoration programs are. It’s also our goal to stand side-by-side with other conservation non-profit partners in our community and continue to nourish those relationships as well.”

This event brings people from all over the state of Florida to show their support for marine life. Mote helps to create an understanding of all the people and efforts involved in saving, protecting, and researching our oceans and the life within them.

It’s amazing to see all the wonderful people and organizations so involved in helping our oceans and all the life inside of them,” said Allison.

Along with awareness, Ocean Fest also creates a fun, family-friendly atmosphere. Live music will be played by local bands throughout the event. The kids will love the Kid Zone where they can wall-climb, get their faces painted, and craft the day away. Ocean Fest isn’t just a place your children will love, the adults are bound to enjoy the onsite art vendors, food trucks, and educational exhibits.

Islamorada Beer Company will be providing beer for the event. For discounted beer and free water, bring your reusable cup to show your support for the protection and conservation of our ecosystems.

This event combines education, fun, and community to show the devotion of so many, including Mote Marine, to preserve our oceanic habitats and marine life. Bring the entire family out to this event to show support for Mote Marine and what they mean to the local Sarasota community.

For more ways to enjoy the ocean and other outdoor fun in Sarasota, check out recreation and boating in Sarasota at 941area. Register for free today!

Cover photo courtesy of Mote Marine's Facebook page