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Lower Keys Presents Underwater Music Festival to Encourage Reef Protection

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Divers and snorkelers can explore part of the continental United States’ only living coral barrier reef Saturday, July 7, while rocking to a unique sub-sea concert that promotes reef protection.

The Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival takes place each year at Looe Key Reef, an area of Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary about 6 miles south of Big Pine Key. The sanctuary protects the waters surrounding the entire Keys island chain.

Staged by Keys radio station US1 104.1 FM, the sea-focused songfest is set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The music is designed to enhance the underwater experience for divers discovering the Keys’ diverse realm of tropical fish, coral formations and other marine life.

“The Underwater Music Festival is a way to celebrate the coral reef, and we celebrate it by looking for a balance between protection of the reef and public enjoyment,” said festival co-founder Bill Becker. “The more people realize what’s down there and enjoy it, the more they’re likely to protect it.”

Music broadcast by the radio station is piped underwater through Lubell Labs speakers suspended beneath boats above the reef. Participants can sway to an oceanic playlist that typically includes melodies like the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” and the themes from “The Little Mermaid” and “Gilligan’s Island.”

Some divers wear costumes, portraying everything from mermaids to rock stars, and pretend to play underwater musical instruments such as a “baratuba” sculpted by Florida Keys artist August Powers.

The primary purpose of the annual festival is to encourage preservation of the Keys’ rich coral reef ecosystem. The broadcast incorporates diver-awareness announcements emphasizing ways to enjoy the reef while minimizing environmental impacts.

A pre-event party is set for 6 p.m. Friday, July 6, at the Tiki Bar at Looe Key Reef Resort, 27340 Overseas Highway. Attractions include appetizers, libations and a chance to learn about the Keys’ treasured reef. For costs and reservations, call 305-872-2411.

Divers and snorkelers who want to participate in the festival can reserve space on boats run by Lower Keys dive operators or launch their own boats from public ramps and marinas in the area.

Event information: lowerkeyschamber.com/festival.php

Lower Keys visitor information: fla-keys.com/lowerkeys or 305-872-2411

Social: Facebook • Twitter • Instagram • Youtube • Keys Voices blog

Source: www.divenewswire.com

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Mares & SSI launch new promotion

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SSI expands financial support to SSI Members worldwide. 

2020 has been an unusual and challenging year for the entire world, especially the diving and travel industry!  To weather the crisis, SSI immediately jumped into action to help Training Centers and Professionals around the world.  

In response to COVID-19, SSI launched the No Water, No Problem Campaign, put Final Exams online, and held hundreds of Webinars to train Professionals on how to use distance learning to teach the dry Specialties online. The FREE SCIENCE OF DIVING promotion resulted in SSI Training Centers worldwide register over 50,000 FREE DIGITAL KITS, funding more than $3.5 MILLION IN RETAIL VALUE. Additionally, SSI introduced an aggressive DOUBLE PRO REWARDS incentive to help SSI Professionals compensate 2020 Renewal Fees and reduce those for 2021. Currently, the WE WANT YOU Crossover promotion aims to fill the industry need for instructors and strengthen the entire SSI Professional community.

Now, in conjunction with Mares, SSI is launching the GO DIVING – PROTECT YOURSELF. OWN EQUIPMENT Promotion, which includes a FREE SSI EQUIPMENT TECHNIQUES DIGITAL KIT. This new campaign strives to motivate divers worldwide to go diving and buy equipment. Look for more information on this next retail support campaign within the next few days.

“These are just a few examples of how we have supported and are continuing to support our Training Centers, Professionals, and divers worldwide. To provide even more economic security and help in business recovery, WE WILL NOT INCREASE PRICES FOR 2021. While travel was restricted and some key resort areas completely locked down, SSI mainly focused on supporting domestic markets with retail-driven incentives. Now, in this next re-opening phase, we need to shift gear and assist resort markets that have no local diving community and are 100% dependent on the traveling diver. Therefore, SSI will grant certain special conditions and delayed payment options to specific resort markets which have been locked down for longer than six months or suffered from closed borders,” stated Guido Waetzig, SSI CEO.

Guido Waetzig, SSI CEO, explains further, “To financially support these needed investments which directly benefit SSI Members and to protect the health of our valuable members and staff, we will forego all 2021 Trade Shows over the next 12 months. Despite international uncertainty, every time we experience one of these events, the entire SSI Network emerges stronger and more resilient. Be assured, SSI is your trustful partner within the Diving Industry!”

For more information about SSI visit their website by clicking here.

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Photo Gallery: Shark Diving in The Bahamas

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In our Gallery feature, we let the photos tell the story… Each Gallery showcases a selection of outstanding images on a chosen theme, taken by our Underwater Photography Editor Nick and Deputy Editor Caroline of Frogfish Photography. This time they look at Shark Diving in The Bahamas.


The Bahamas offers some of the very finest shark diving experiences in the world. The islands have protected sharks in their waters creating one of the first Shark Sanctuaries in the world. Several species of shark can be seen and photographed, with each island offering a different type of shark diving, making this destination the perfect place for a multi-island, multi-shark trip of a lifetime.

Great Hammerhead Shark diving in Bimini

Bull Sharks in Bimini

Tiger Shark off Grand Bahama

Oceanic Whitetip Shark off Cat Island

Nurse Shark off Abaco

Caribbean Reef Sharks off New Providence

Lemon Sharks off Grand Bahama

For more images from The Bahamas and around the world, visit the Frogfish Photography website by clicking here.

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