Stretching from Key Largo and the Upper Keys all the way past Key West and the Lower Keys, The Florida Keys are home to the only living coral reef in the continental United States, and the third largest in the world!
Watch our video below for a peek at the myriad of Diving and Snorkeling adventures we offer here in The Florida Keys. For those who wish to experience a diving trip, but without tanks as in a SCUBA adventure – some dive shops offer SNUBA.
The first video is shared from Florida Keys Television, our preferred platform to watch and share videos. Please watch and share TV88 videos on Florida Keys Television.
When the glaciers started melting 20,000 years ago we were gifted with the land mass that is now our chain of keys. Our communities are built over the fossilized remains of coral reefs that rose up to reach the sun. As the waters receded the corals died, but not before gifting us again with the chain of coral reefs we now love to dive. With the current growth rate of reef building coral being 1/2 to 7 inches per year, depending on the type of coral, it is estimated that our reefs are 10,000 years old. Florida’s coral reefs begin near Port St. Lucie Inlet, in the Atlantic and stretch around the Keys to the Dry Tortugas in the Gulf of Mexico. The most abundant reefs are in the Atlantic area off the Keys.
The Great Florida Reef is the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States, thanks to our tropical climate. It is the third largest barrier reef in the world (the Australian Great Barrier Reef is first, the Belize Barrier Reef second). Coral requires temperatures no cooler than 64 degrees F, and no warmer than 85 degrees F.
Our reefs are protected by the federal government. Designated as The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary there are many established rules to help preserve the health of the reef system. The rules for use vary at each reef, “know before you go”!
There are an average of 80 diving/snorkeling related businesses in Monroe County. The variety of experiences range from the Jules Undersea Lodge, to glass bottom boat tours, to beginner through advanced open water diver trips.
Here in the Florida Keys there is an aquatic adventure for every age, interest, and experience level!