NSU’s Guy Harvey Research Institute (GHRI) and National Coral Reef Institute joined with the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation over the weekend of April 13-14 to raise marine conservation awareness at the inaugural Rock the Ocean Tortuga Music Festival.
The Tortuga Music Festival was a two-day music and marine conservation festival on Fort Lauderdale Beach that drew an estimated 25,000 fans who spent the weekend enjoying the beach music venue with their feet in the sand. The festival sported 23 nationally known bands, including mega-star acts such as Kenny Chesney, Eric Church and the Avett Brothers. In addition to the music, this groundbreaking event also offered festivalgoers the opportunity to experience Conservation Village, sponsored and organized by the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation. The village gave the weekend music enthusiasts a firsthand look at interactive marine science, cutting-edge technology and conservation displays spread across five tents.
NSU’s Guy Harvey Research Institute was featured in the “Offshore” theme tent and engaged visitors with “Conservation Station,” a trivia game testing a range of marine conservation questions focused on the shark and billfish research currently being conducted at GHRI. In addition, two video monitors highlighted GHRI’s global shark and billfish satellite tracking program with a live internet station where people could use the interactive tracking website to follow sharks and billfish on their travels around our world’s oceans.
Festival attendees were also able to enter a Facebook contest to win an opportunity to join the GHRI in a shark tagging expedition in South Florida. The winner will be drawn in May.
The National Coral Reef Institute was located in the “Near Coastal” theme tent featuring a video display highlighting the offshore coral nursery program and southeast Florida coral reef maps, showing interested fans some of the coral restoration techniques.
The festival was a huge success leaving visitors with a great musical experience and a better understanding of the role of marine science, technology, and conservation in protecting our marine community.