Miami is all about water. We are surrounded by it, with the Everglades, the Caribbean, and the Atlantic bordering Miami on three sides. People visit our city to not only see the water, but to get in the water – and if they’re very lucky, they might just get to see what’s happening under the surface. At the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science’s 3rd Annual Miami Underwater Festival, visitors were able to do just that, without even getting wet!
Presented by Everest Capital and festival chairs Shelly and Marko Dimitrijevic, with additional support by Maria Isabel and David Schwedel, the Miami Underwater Festival was held in celebration of global World Oceans Day, and included three days of marine related programming in two locations, including the Museum and – for the first time ever – Knight Plaza at Museum Park, site of our brand new Museum facility!
On Thursday, June 5, over 100 guests gathered at the Museum for a VIP kick-off soiree. Attendees were the first to view the new “Under the Sea” exhibit, featuring selections from the University of Miami Rosentiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science Annual Underwater Photography Contest. Before making their way into the planetarium for a selection of world-renowned marine films by BLUE on Tour, the touring arm of the world-renowned BLUE Ocean Film Festival & Conservation Summit, guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and signature Finlandia vodka cocktails, including the Blue Coconut Crush, Underwater Grapefruit Crush and the Friendly Fire Coral. Following the films, there was a special keynote presentation by Dr. Michael Heithaus, Executive Director, School of Environment, Arts and Society at Florida International University.
On Saturday, June 7, guests enjoyed a full day of actives at the Museum, including a variety of beautiful underwater films showcasing marine conservation and sustainability, featuring BLUE on Tour. Additional highlights included a discussion with acclaimed worldwide photographer Zach Ransom, a special virtual tour of Florida International University’s underwater laboratory, Aquarius, a meet-and-great with local diving stars Billy Catoggio and Mitch Herne of the popular TV show “Scuba Nation,” a workshop series with coral expert Dr. Diego Lirman of University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS), and for those not of faint heart, shark dissections.
Guests continued to make a splash later Saturday evening at a special evening program, co-sponsored by COSEE Florida. The event included the premiere of “Raising Shrimp” by Fish Navy Films with filmaker and founder Dr. Ted Caplow, along with a a selection of short films curated by Beneath the Waves Film Festival.
The festivities continued at the Museum on Sunday, June 8, along with an exciting outdoor fair at Knight Plaza in Downtown Miami, sponsored by the Miami Downtown Development Authority (DDA), DWNTWN Miami and The Miami Herald. Have you ever seen a water-powered jetpack? Visitors to the festival did, as they watched a man from Aquajet Miami “fly,” powered by water, more than 30 feet above the surface on the Bay. Visitors who might have never seen in person the beautiful coral reef that is right off the Florida coast actually participated in creating their own “coral reef” out of recyclable materials, in a community art project with local artists Kerry Phillips and Regina Jestrow. Pour in a scavenger hunt around the plaza, string trio performances by the Greater Miami Youth Symphony, and a sneak peek of Adrienne Arsht Center’s H2OMBRE summer show, and you wind up with an ocean of fun for everyone.
And this is Miami in the summer after all, so the Better Chip, ZICO Pure Premium Coconut Water, Gilly Vending and Nestle Coffee Mate kept everyone refreshed and – of course – hydrated!
Photo Credit: World Red Eye