Saturday, October 1, 2011

OceanWise! Have you heard this yet?

OceanWise! You've heard about this, right? Mark your calendar: Saturday, October 15, begining at 6 pm.
If you don't have your tickets, visit (PayPal: easy as pie!), or call us at 904.823.4500 for information.

2011 marks the second year of this amazing event, and you're invited. The Friends of GTM NERR are delighted to throw open the doors of the Environmental Education Center, welcome you in your cocktail attire, and serve you sustainable - and delictable! - seafood offerings from local chefs, wine and even locally brewed beer. The evening includes a silent aution with some truly amazing items and is made possible by a roster of corporate and personal sponsors. The silent auction alone is reason enough to attend; one of the items is a membership at Serenata Beach Club valued at $8000; bidding begins at $1500. And that's just the beginning.

OceanWise benefits The Friends of Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve. You can skip this part if you know about us already, but in case you don't, here's the scoop. What used to be Guana State Park became, a number of years ago, part of the NERR system. A partnership between NOAA and coastal states, this system is all about studying and preserving estuarine eco-systems. Estuaries? These are the places where the rivers meet the sea: rich, diverse waters where fresh- and saltwater come together and unique nurseries for an incredible range of species are created. These are places of invaluable import to these species, to humankind and to our planet at large. They are big, critically important pieces of our shared environmental heritage and responsibility, and they need Friends to survive. Fortunate to have a NERR in our own backyard, The Friends of GTM NERR are all about helping ensure funding to bridge gaps that may exist. And we need you to help us.

Local chefs and their kitchens believe in this cause, and bring their culinary skills to bear for its benefit...and ours (okay, yes. We *are* excited; this is yummy stuff). Here are some of the local restaurants and businesses providing the sustainable seafood and tasty beverages with which to wash them down.
Aqua Grill
Aunt Kate's
Cap's On the Water
Whole Foods
The Manatee Cafe
The Reef
Raintree Restaurant
Augustine Grille
Bold City Brewery
The Bistro Culinary Outfitters
Safe Harbor Seafood Market & Restaurant

I know, right?

And it would be unfair not to mention those businesses, local and national, who have also lent their support. Some have provided monetary support; some have provided items for our silent auction, and some have done both (and then some!) A partial list of these businesses includes
Wells Fargo
VyStar Credit Union
Serenata Beach Club
Publix Supermarkets
Mane de Leon Salon
Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa
Bank of America
TC Delivers
Lofgren Rich ReMax Real Estate Team
Apex Color
Wingate Insurance Group, Inc.

The silent auction will include, in addition to the Serenata Beach membership, a wide range of gift certificates, art work incuding hand-crafted works from local artisans and so much more...intriguing, beautiful and valuable items continue to arrive every day. This event was sold out last year and we think the same thing will happen this year, so please book your tickets now, if you don't have them yet. Please join us in celebrating this jewel of northeastern Florida. We have a spot for you right here next to us, and a chilled glass with your name on it. Get your ticket. See you at OceanWise!

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