About 400 divers and snorkelers participated in an event in which a local radio station broadcast underwater in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary on Saturday. The participants listened to music and announcements advocating reef preservation.
The Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival at Looe Key Reef, which forms part of the world's third-largest living coral barrier reef, broadcast four hours of music custom-programmed by station WWUS for subsea listening.
"We have a captive audience down there," said Bill Becker, the event's co-founder and the station's news director, AP reported. "We have divers and snorkelers listening to public service announcements about reef preservation, coral reef etiquette and diver awareness.
"It's things that they can do to lessen their impact on the coral reef," he said.
The playlist included the theme from the "The Little Mermaid," the Beatles' "Octopus's Garden" and the theme from the iconic shark motion picture "Jaws."
"We just wanted to get their (participants) attention," laughed Becker.
The commercial-free broadcasts could be heard via Lubbell Laboratory waterproof speakers hung from boats floating above the reef.
Some of the divers wore costumes including two mermaids and a Sponge Bob cartoon character, while others pretended to play Florida Keys artist August Powers' sculpted musical instruments.
''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,'' South Florida Reporter quoted festival co-founder Becker . ''The more people realize what's down there and enjoy it, the more they're likely to protect it.''