RECOVER went a little bit country at Rock the Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival in Fort Lauderdale, a three-day beachside concert raising awareness for ocean conservation issues. This years chart-topping headliners included Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, Tim McGraw and Lynyrd Skynyrd and drew in a crowd of over 90,000 people from 16 countries.
In addition to being a premiere concert event, Tortuga seamlessly and successfully blends entertainment and science education. In years past, Rock the Ocean has raised $250,000 for marine and ocean research and conservation organizations. This year 30 organizations joined the Conservation Village to educate and inspire change in festivalgoers.
This was RECOVER’s first time participating in the Conservation Village and festival attendees were extremely interested and willing to learn about our research. We were able to speak with more than 2,000 country music fans over the course of the weekend. Those who stopped by the booth were able to look at three-day-old mahi-mahi under microscopes and examine oil spill samples collected from the Deepwater Horizon site. Many visitors were local recreational and commercial fishermen and were fascinated to learn more about one of their favorite fish to catch. We also held an Instagram raffle for a signed print of Screaming Reels donated by our friends at Saltwater Brewery.
Our team was also lucky enough to have a fantastic group of local volunteers come out, work the booth, and help spread our science while at the festival. Many of which did not have a background in science, but became experts and advocates themselves by the end of the weekend.
Check out our facebook for more pictures from the weekend!