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.