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13th annual Gray's Reef Ocean Film Festival shows off local marine life

13th annual Gray's Reef Ocean Film Festival shows off local marine life
Published: Jan. 31, 2016 at 2:44 AM EST|Updated: Mar. 1, 2016 at 2:44 AM EST
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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The 2016 Gray's Reef Ocean Film Festival was held at Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary.

Visitors were given the chance to explore all the wonders of the ocean through film. The natural live-bottom Gray's Reef is teeming with marine life and is part of the endangered North Atlantic right whale's calving grounds. Loggerhead turtles also rest at the reef, where scientists have identified more than 200 fish species.

"For me personally, this event is sheer joy," said sanctuary superintendent Sarah Fangman. "As a marine biologist, I get to go underwater and see these things firsthand and I'm very privileged for that. But not everyone gets to see that, so bringing this to the community gives me great joy."

Gray's Reef was designated as a sanctuary on Jan. 16, 1981, and is the only protected natural reef area on the continental shelf off the Georgia coast.

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