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Florida underwater music festival raises awareness on coral reef conservation

BIG PINE KEY, Fla. — (AP) — They weren’t in a “Yellow Submarine,” but hundreds of people spent time below the waves Saturday for a music festival off the Florida Keys.

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The Beatles’ hit and other ocean-themed songs like the theme to “The Little Mermaid” were part of the entertainment during the Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival.

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The divers and snorkelers, many dressed as mermaids and sea creatures, enjoyed music played through waterproof speakers dangling from boats floating above the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

The festival took place at Looe Key Reef, about 6 miles from Big Pine Key.

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The event at the continental United States’ only living coral barrier reef raised awareness on how divers can protect the reef by not touching corals or leaving litter underwater, using mooring buoys instead of anchoring when boating, respecting dive flags and other ways to minimize environmental impact.

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Participants swam among marine life and coral formations and described the music as ethereal, a bit muted, but emanating from all directions.

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