A vigorous storm early in the evening was the prelude to the Water Ball, which bounced back with sunsets and rainbow fish, cool cocktails, and progressive jazz. A big turnout kept the conservation conversation going, as people sipped on their Spa Treatments (a pale-green vodka drink flavored with cucumber and rosemary) while staring down sharks in the great ocean room at the S.C. Aquarium.

Cyrus Buffum was the man of the hour and gave a rousing speech about Charleston Waterkeeper’s mission to monitor our area’s wetlands and advocate for clean water. In this port city with a new cruise ship business, Buffum has stepped up to a colossally important task.

The locally rooted group Entropy Ensemble did their part to create a new world order and entertain the crowd with violin-driven jazzed-out Radiohead covers. These phenomenal musicians left a lasting impression with their heady brand of experimental jazz. Choosing this band for this party was just one of many refreshingly modern event-planning moves, along with pouring the local and lovely Palmetto Espresso Porter.

The Twitter board, a Pecha Kucha-style staple, was projected in the main hall near the band and alerted everyone that Ted Turner was in the house eating Pluff Mudd ice cream at the Roots stand. The Roots guys were scooping their themed ice cream of the night, a rich concoction of Sweeteeth dark chocolate, into miniature sugar cones to hand out, like some locavore child’s dream.

Other notable bites: Cru Catering’s fish tacos were passed on silver platters while resident aquarium fish watched as people devoured them. Tiny pastries from Wildflour appeared at a dessert table later in the evening, again with the swanky/local theme.

The night was a true celebration of local people who are doing what they can to better our environment, from tantalizing our tastebuds and expanding our musical palates to the serious business of protecting our waters.