Reef Fest is an annual event coordinated by various organizations such as the Virgin
Islands Marine Advisory Service, the Virgin Islands Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, the Department of Planning and Natural Resources and Blue Flag USVI with the goal to raise environmental education and awareness within
the Virgin Islands community. Businesses, non-profits, and governmental agencies who
have an environmental focus are encouraged to participate as an exhibitor where they
can engage the public through fun, interactive demonstrations and disseminate relevant
information to attendees.
Reef Fest Highlights
Exhibitors are Reef Fest are encouraged to utilize interactive elements to better
engage attendees; this can include props, games, demonstrations, etc. Kristina Edwards
from the Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) is using her exhibit
to engage the public on the issue of plastic pollution and what we can do to reduce
our environmental impact.
Interactive demonstrations such as lionfish dissections (coordinated through the Division
of Fish and Wildlife at DPNR) are a ideal way to educate the public on the negative
impacts these invasive species pose to our native fauna. In this way, we can bring
the ocean to Reef Fest attendees.
Students can also participate in Reef Fest; here we have students modeling for the
Trashion Show where costumes are made from single-use plastic products such as plastic
bags, juice boxes, etc. Additionally, students can participate in the Reef Rap competition
where they prepare and perform a short yet catchy environmental jingle, usually highlighting
some aspect of our environment.
The 2018 Reef Fest event featured a March for Science where attendees created posters
and marched around the venue to show their support of Science.
Restaurants are also invited to the event to showcase their skills at preparing lionfish
appetizers. As these fish are invasive, one approach to controlling their population
size is to consume them (once they are procurred from a trusted source).
While there will not be a formal Reef Fest for 2023, our team is currently partnering
with The PangeaSeed Foundation for the St. Thomas Sea Walls mural activation which will be conducted from January 23-28, 2023. Through this partnership,
we will create 10+ ocean advocacy murals and host various public events to increase
interest and engagement in marine stewardship.
The St. Thomas Sea Walls is currently being led by Marisa Lopez and supported
by numerous individuals spanning multiple organizations across the USVI. Learn more
and support the St. Thomas activation by clicking HERE.
During the St. Thomas Sea Walls mural activation, our team is coordinating several
outreach events to engage the public. Join us on the 28th of January as we provide
interactive science demonstrations at The Virgin Islands Children's Museum.