The islands that make up the Florida Keys are home to the only living coral barrier reef in the United States. The island chain is 120 miles long and the barrier reef can be found along this entire length. It is one of the most popular locations for scuba diving in the world and many tourists to the area come just for the diving experiences that are on offer. Divers are encouraged to bring a waterproof camera along to capture some memories of their trip.
The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary was established to protect the coral reef, which is home to some of the most versatile marine life that is found anywhere on the planet. The diving excursions that are ran from the islands also strive to protect this environment. They will use buoys for mooring so that they do not have to drop any anchors and all divers will be given information about what they should and shouldn’t do so that the marine life is as undisturbed as possible. Even the slightest amount of contact with the coral can cause irreparable damage and divers will be instructed to stay at a distance where any accidental contact can be avoided, but this will still enable them to get close enough to get a good view of the coral and take any photographs that they want to.
One of the main things that makes the Florida Keys such a popular destination for scuba diving is that there are so many fish to observe when you are under the water. In other coral reefs around the world, the amount of fishing that takes place means that very often there are hardly any fish to see. Territorial fishing has been very strictly controlled in the Florida Keys since the 1960s and this means that there is an abundance of fish to see on the coral reefs here. Over the years these fish have been used to seeing divers and they do not view them as a threat and so this presents an excellent opportunity to get up close to marine life that cannot be found anywhere else. There are still opportunities for fishing but these will not be in areas that are protected by the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
Whether you are an experienced diver or new to the sport, there are diving opportunities for everyone in the Florida Keys. The diving company will be able to suggest the most appropriate dive based on the experience of the diver. Most of the diving sites that are used can be reached by boat from the islands in just a matter of minutes. Experienced diving professionals will ensure that everyone is safe and can also provide a lot of interesting information about the area and some of the marine life that may be seen. Most diving companies will provide gear that can be adjusted by the diver without the need for them to stand on the ocean floor as this can damage the coral and disturb the habitat of the marine life.