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Natural Coral Reef Formation off the Coast of Palm Beach

Running parallel to Palm Beach County’s coast lies natural coral reef formations created thousands of years ago that are part of the northern portion of Florida’s Coral Reef that spans from St. Lucie Inlet south into the Florida Keys.

We have part of the only living barrier coral reef in the continental United States and third largest in the world.

  

 

  Palm Beach County Reefs Logo Florida's Coral Reef Logo

Snorkelers Swmimming Above an Artificial Limestone Rock Reef

For the past 40 years, Palm Beach County has created reef areas using various materials  to give people additional areas for fishing, diving, and snorkeling and to protect natural reefs from overuse.  These "artificial reefs" are most often made out of limestone, concrete, and occasionally decommissioned ships that become beautiful marine habitats for algae, corals, and other marine life.

ERM has deployed over 55 vessels, 100,000 tons of concrete, and 133,000 tons of limestone boulders creating artificial reefs.

For a list of Palm Beach County's Artificial Reefs & locations click here.


 

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Click here for Google Maps. 

Natural Reefs just offshore Palm Beach County's coastline

Why Are Natural Reefs Important? 

Natural reefs provide the building blocks to support all other aquatic plants and animals that make southeast Florida reefs their home by providing shelter, supplying food, and offering refuge for young marinelife to develop just to name a few.

Natural reefs create recreational resources attracting people interested in diving, snorkeling, and fishing and in Southeast Florida over 1 billion dollars is generated in our local economy through activities associated with artificial reefs every year. 

Natural reefs protect our coast line by acting like cushion taking the initial impact from onshore waves, currents, and storms and absorbing their energy and dispersing it which helps to prevent loss of life, property damage, and erosion.

Artificial reef rock supporting marinelife such as snook

Why Do We Need Artificial Reefs? 

Artificial reefs help natural reefs by providing additional areas for recreational use by scuba divers and anglers that are in separate locations from natural reefs.
 
Artificial reefs develop into additional hard bottom coral habitat that once established function as a natural reef system
providing food, shelter, protection, and spawning areas for marine life.
 
Artificial reefs support Palm Beach County’s economy providing an estimated 1800 jobs and contributing millions of dollars to businesses, restaurants, and hotels.

WARNING: Many artificial reefs lie in water depths that exceed the recommended sport diving limitations. Any swimmer, diver, or snorkeler shall approach or visit each artificial reef at his or her own risk. The Palm Beach County Artificial Reef Program and Committee, the Board of County Commissioners of Palm Beach County, and the County of Palm Beach are not responsible for any hazards which may exist or arise on, about, or near the artificial reefs, or for any injuries or fatalities which may occur as a result of any person's presence on, about, or near the artificial reefs.