BIG PINE KEY – Hundreds of divers and snorkelers took part in the annual Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival Saturday with the goal to raise awareness to coral reef protection.
Organizers said the festival introduced participants to the Keys’ coral reef while encouraging environmentally responsible diving and reef protection.
As is tradition, music was broadcast by a radio station and piped underwater via speakers suspended beneath boats, providing “sub-sea soundtrack” for participants exploring Looe Key Reef’s tropical fish and coral formations.
Participants described the music as ethereal, a bit muted, but emanating from all directions.
“The unique listening experience featured diver awareness messages that stressed the importance of not touching corals or leaving litter underwater, using mooring buoys instead of anchoring when boating, respecting dive flags and other ways of minimizing environmental impacts on coral reefs,” organizers said.
The playlist included well-known ocean-themed songs like the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” and the theme from “The Little Mermaid.”
Mermaids were also spotted beneath the waves. They were joined by other costumed participants dressed as sea creatures, who mimicked playing musical instruments underwater.