In the 1960s, the authorities created a 250-yards-long artificial coral reef 600 yards off Fort Lauderdale, aiming to help combat the erosion of the beaches. The reef was made of concrete tripods, and not very aesthetic, but was quickly colonized by underwater fauna. The spot itself is not really worth a visit, but you might explore it during an excursion to the Twin Ledges reef.

Snorkeling the Northern Erojacks, Fort Lauderdale

How to get there?

Although it is not far from the coast (facing Bahia Mar), you need to take a boat to access the spot safely. A few diving centers in Fort Lauderdale organize snorkeling excursions to the spot at relatively reasonable prices ($30-40 for about 2 hours 30 minutes), and also including a stop at Twin Ledges. From Miami Beach, it takes about an hour by car (direction Fort Lauderdale Beach). By public transport, go to Aventura Mall (lines S, C or 120), then take the line 1 BCT, and finally line 40 at the fork towards the beach (ask the driver to let you off). It takes about two hours and costs between $1.75 and $2.25 per section.

Northern Erojacks snorkeling map, Fort Lauderdale

Water entrance

You enter the water from the boat. Follow your tour guide’s instructions.

Exploration

The artificial reef (about 16 feet wide) extends for about 250 yards at right angles to the coast. On either side of the reef, you will come across sandy areas of little interest.

French angelfish at Northern Erojacks, Fort Lauderdale

Swim above the tripods (↕10-20ft/3-5m). Although the reef has been colonized by a few sea fans and a little soft coral, it still looks a little artificial. But a wide variety of species have found a home there: many yellowtail snappers, jacks and, above all, French angelfish are to be seen swimming around the reef. Explore the crevices to look for lobsters, which are relatively common. It is also possible, although not common, to come across sea turtles near the reef.

Tripods at Northern Erojacks, Fort Lauderdale

Because of its relative depth, exploring the reef is not easy. Visibility varies and sea conditions can be bad, depending on the wind and waves. Follow your tour guide’s instructions, and if you are visiting on your own boat, check out the safety conditions before getting into the water.

Restaurants & accommodation

Excursions don’t generally include meals, but sometimes drinks. At the Fort Lauderdale marina (the starting point for the excursions) you can buy a snack and some water.



Species you may spot while snorkeling Northern Erojacks
COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME ABUNDANCE FISHBASE WIKIPEDIA
Gray angelfish Pomacanthus arcuatus  
French angelfish Pomacanthus paru  
Atlantic blue tang Acanthurus coeruleus  
Bluehead wrasse Thalassoma bifasciatum  
Yellowhead wrasse Halichoeres garnoti  
French grunt Haemulon flavolineatum  
Stoplight parrotfish Sparisoma viride  
Spotfin butterflyfish Chaetodon ocellatus  
Spanish hogfish Bodianus rufus  
Orangespotted filefish Cantherhines pullus  

 

  • Level required Intermediary
  • Maximum depth15ft/4.5m
  • Water entranceFrom a boat
  • Potential DangersUsual precautions
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsExcursion price (approx. $35 pp.)
  • Restaurants nearbyNo
  • Public toilets & showersNo

MAP Spot

These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.