Ocean conservation is the focus of the Ocean Reef Beach Festival


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Photo by James Ataman

“Celebrate the Ocean Lifestyle” is the theme of the fourth annual Ocean-Reef-Beach Festival Saturday, Dec. 5 at Pelican Beach Park, 1525 A1A in Satellite Beach. 

This free, grass roots-style event, which brings lovers of the beach, reef and ocean all together, will run from 10 to 5. It will feature live music, a chowder cook-off, food trucks, conservation-related vendors and presentations, ocean artists and local surfboard shapers. A new addition this year is the ORB video contest.

Submissions of 30-second videos on the theme of ocean conservation will be judged in several categories: middle/high school, open and public choice award. The films will be shown during the festival, but contestants still have one week afterwards to submit their films to the contest. The winning films will be used for public service announcements. 

On October 29, a free, standing room only Go Pro camera class was given at Southern Photo for aspiring conservation filmmakers. A local Go Pro representative will also be on board at the festival to teach would-be film contestants how to make the most of their cameras and even cell phones. 

“The film doesn’t necessarily have to be about the ocean,” said James Smith of PureOceanTV.com, one of the event founders and organizers. “It can relate to anything that has to do with the conservation theme. Even how we live at home can affect the ocean."

Educating the public about local beaches, the ocean and reef is also one of the themes of the festival.  Not many know, for example, that the ocean waters of Satellite Beach are home to a Sabellariid worm reef just off of the shoreline, which extends from southern Patrick Air Force Base to Indian Harbour Beach. Many think that Satellite Beach is just a rocky beach.

“It’s actually a diverse ecosystem where macroalgae grow along and over the coquina rock off of Satellite Beach. That’s what the juvenile green turtles live off of. Not many people know about it and it is right here off of our beach.” 

The festival began four years ago as the brainchild of James Smith; his father, Anglers for Conservation founder Rodney Smith; and Mike Daniels, chairman of the Sebastian Inlet Chapter, Surfrider Foundation). 

“I wanted to do something for the community. So we put our three minds together and came up with this festival,” James Smith said.

“All the locals love the festival. They can connect with it,” he added. 

For more information, go to oceanreefbeachfestival.com.

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