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Key West Coral Reef Information

ABOUT KEY WEST’S LIVING CORAL REEF

Key West Reef Snorkeling

Our coral reefs, which lie about 7 miles offshore, are teeming with tropical fish, hard and soft corals, sponges, snails, jellyfish, anemones, crabs, lobsters, rays, sea turtles, nurse sharks, and other sea life. There are around 110 species of corals and over 500 species of tropical fish in our coral reef community. All species are interrelated and live in harmony.

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Coral reefs are built by millions of tiny polyps, that are actually live animals. They secrete a skeleton of calcium carbonate called limestone. Within each coral polyp lives a microscopic algae called zooanthellae that conducts photosynthesis. These two (the polyp and the algae) have a symbiotic relationship, in which two different organisms live together and benefit from each other.

Tips When Snorkeling Key West’s Colorful Reef

The Florida Keys’ reefs are the only living coral reefs in the continental United States. Each year, over 2 million tourists visit our reefs through snorkeling, diving, fishing or boating. The reefs are extremely important to us locals and we are committed to doing our part in protecting them. One way is to educate you, the snorkeler, about our fragile coral reef community.

Even though coral looks sturdy, they are very fragile and even the slightest touch can damage and kill the sensitive coral polyps. So when you stand, kick or touch the coral reef, you may be destroying hundreds or even thousands of years of growth – as coral may grow only 1/8″ a year!

This is why we stress that snorkelers please be aware of where their fins are in the water at all times. Be sure to snorkel in water deep enough so that when you get vertical, to adjust your mask or chat with your buddy, your fins won’t kick the coral and mistakenly kill it. Float, relax, and enjoy the spectacular underwater show AND ALWAYS REMEMBER: PLEASE DON’T TOUCH ANY CORAL.

Make plans to go snorkeling in Key West.

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Dolphin Watch Eco Tour Eco Tour • Backcountry Snorkel
  • 9:00am, 12:30pm
  • 2.5 hrs
  • low
  • Beverages
Save 10% $62.95 Reg. $69.95
TRIP DETAILS
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Dolphin Watch Sunset Cruise Combo Eco Tour • Backcountry Snorkel • Sunset
  • 5:00pm
  • 3 hrs
  • low
  • Beverages
Save 10% $62.95 Reg. $69.95
TRIP DETAILS
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Double Dip Snorkel Sunset Combo Snorkel 2 Reef Locations
  • 5:00pm
  • 3 hrs
  • moderate
  • Beverages
Save 10% $44.95 Reg. $49.95
TRIP DETAILS
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Double Dip Snorkel Trip Snorkel 2 Reef Locations
  • 9:00am, 12:30pm
  • 3 hrs
  • moderate
  • Beverages
Starting at $36.85 Reg. $40.95
TRIP DETAILS
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Glass Bottom Boat & Sunset Combo Reef Eco Tour
  • 6:00pm
  • 2 hrs
  • low
  • Snack Bar
Save 10% $43.15 Reg. $47.95
TRIP DETAILS
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Island Adventure & Sunset Cruise Combo Eco Tour • Snorkel • Kayak • Paddleboard
  • 3:30pm
  • 4.5 hrs
  • moderate
  • Food & Beverages
Save 10% $98.95 Reg. $109.95
TRIP DETAILS
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Island Adventure Eco Tour Eco Tour • Snorkel • Kayak • Paddleboard
  • 9:30am
  • 4.5 hrs
  • moderate
  • Food & Beverages
Save 10% $89.95 Reg. $99.95
TRIP DETAILS
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Key West Parasailing Fly Two or Three at a Time
  • 1 hr
  • low
Save 10% $49.45 Reg. $54.95
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Key West Snorkeling Morning Reef Snorkel
  • 9:30am
  • 3 hrs
  • moderate
  • Beverages
Save 10% $36.85 Reg. $40.95
TRIP DETAILS
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Key West Sunset Cruise Sunset Cruise • Champagne
  • 6:30pm
  • 2 hrs
  • low
  • Beverages
Save 10% $35.95 Reg. $39.95
TRIP DETAILS
Save Up To $15
Land and Sail Package Trolley Tour • Sunset Sail
  • low
$64.95 Reg. $80.40
TRIP DETAILS
Save Up To $11
Land and Sea Package Trolley Tour • Glass Bottom Boat
  • low
$64.95 Reg. $76.40
TRIP DETAILS
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Reef & Ritas Snorkeling Trip Afternoon Reef Snorkel
  • 1:00pm
  • 3 hrs
  • moderate
  • Beverages
Save 10% $43.15 Reg. $47.95
TRIP DETAILS
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Rum & Reggae Afternoon Reef Snorkel • Sunset Sail
  • 5:00pm
  • 3 hrs
  • moderate
  • Beverages
Save 10% $44.95 Reg. $49.95
TRIP DETAILS
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Ultimate Express Jet Ski • Parasail • Mini Water Park • Banana Boat
  • 11:00am, 3:00pm
  • 3.5 hrs
  • moderate
  • Food & Beverages
Save 10% $107.95 Reg. $119.95
TRIP DETAILS
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