PANAMA CITY BEACH-- Monday kicks off the first Ocean Week, and several local businesses are teaming up to celebrate.
Florida House Representative Jimmy Patronis proclaimed July 21 thorough 27 as Ocean Week in Panama City Beach.
The week-long celebration is inspired by the Man in the Sea Museum.
"[It's about] Recognizing the significant contributions of the Man in the Sea and the exploration and research that man has had in learning about one of the most intriguing parts of our own natural resources, the oceans," Patronis said.
Ocean Week also falls at a very important time of the year for the museum, the 50th anniversary of Sea Lab. The Sea Lab program is the first of it's kind. It opened the door to undersea exploration and allowed divers to live and work on the sea floor.
"By showing them [kids] Sea Lab and a lot of the research that's been brought forward from this area we hope to inspire the next aquanauts that live and work at the bottom of the ocean," Ocean Week organizer Michael Zinszer said.
About 20 local businesses are taking part in Ocean Week. They're offering freebies and specials of some sort, that celebrate the ocean, and promote its conservation.
"Panama City restaurants is based around the local, fresh seafood, and we couldn't be more about wanting to save, protect and serve our waters here," Tiffany Windson, Bud and Alley's media coordinator, said.
"If we don't take care of our ocean today then we won't have an ocean tomorrow for our kids to fish in," Paul "Buster" Busuttil, Buster's Beer and Bait owner, said.
You can find a list of events at maninthesea.org/oceanweekevents.php.