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Mardi Gras Themed Oceans Of Hope Gala Bringing The Big Easy To The East End

Olivia Braat

It's always a packed dance floor when it comes time to line dance. (Photo: Joe Dlhopolsky)

On Friday, September 30th, The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation is hosting their 16th annual Oceans of Hope gala at the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center to celebrate not only their many programs within the organization, but 20 years as an established foundation. The nonprofit organization works to "preserve and protect our marine environment through conservation efforts including education, rehabilitation, and research."

"As we celebrate our 20th anniversary this year, the Oceans of Hope Gala will help support the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation's many programs, including the rescue and rehabilitation of marine mammals and sea turtles," explained Charles Bowman, Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation Board President. "As we receive funding through public support and research grants, the funds raised this year will help us to expand our programs, update our facilities, and allow us to continue preserving and protecting the marine environment for years to come."

Gala guests will be transported to the south as they enter the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center - which will be decked out in Mardi Gras adornments, supplemented with all things in pursuit of the New Orleans holiday: the Louisiana-style food, Brazilian dancers, a jazz band and an open bar. Wear your best "Fat Tuesday" ensembles and support the incredible efforts of The Riverhead Foundation. Alongside the themed additions to the promising party, raffles and silent auctions will go on throughout the night, with a variety of prizes from local and regional vendors alike.

Get ready for a fun southern inspired hoedown in the north. (Courtesy Photo)

Admission is $200 per person and all proceeds will benefit the organization and their mission to preserve and protect the marine environment through education, rehabilitation and research. The event will begin at 7 p.m.

Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation is the sole organization authorized by New York State to lead research efforts, including the rescue, rehabilitation, and release, of seals, sea turtles, whales, dolphins, and porpoises. The nonprofit keeps a thorough data record on marine species and their habitats in local waters, supports conservation and stewardship of the marine environment, and partners with other environmental organizations - like National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Environmental Conservation, the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, and more - to help safeguard local marine species.

The Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center is located at 431 East Main Street in Riverhead. For more information on the Riverhead Foundation, please visit www.riverheadfoundation.org.

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