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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 while 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.
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 tours to the spot. Tours cost around $30-$40 for about 2 hours 30 minutes, sometimes also including snorkeling 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.
You enter the water from the boat. Follow your tour guide’s instructions.
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.
Make sure to 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 bit artificial.
But a wide variety of species have found a home there: many French grunt, bar jacks and beautiful gray angelfish and French angelfish can 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 green sea turtles near the reef.
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.
Excursions don’t generally include meals, but sometimes do include drinks. At the Fort Lauderdale marina (the starting point for the excursions) you can buy a snack and some water.
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.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
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