Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary, Snorkeling-Diving Reefs
The Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary is three separate snorkeling and diving reef areas at Navarre Beach County Park. Two reef areas are in the sound on the north side of the Park and one reef area is in the Gulf of Mexico just off the south shore in the park.
The Gulf Side Reef is located on the Gulf of Mexico 2,000 ft. east of the fishing pier directly south of the Sea Oat pavilion. This is the furthest southeast parking area of the park. Follow the boardwalk to the beach and immediately head east approximately 100ft. The site is marked at the shoreby two large PVC posts positioned on the sand dune. The site is 340ft south of the mean tide line and consists of 30 structures in three columns of ten spaced 20 ft. apart and is ideal for snorkeling and diving for any skill level. The site is immediately beyond the second sand bar. Depths range from 9-15 ft. with tops at 6-10 ft. below the surface. Visibility ranges from 8-30 ft. depending on sea conditions. The site is adjacent to the public swimming beach. Expect to see a wide variety of marine life to include turtles and stingrays. Flag warning systems mark the water conditions.
The West Sound Side Reef is the largest of the three sites with a footprint approximately equal to a football field. To get to this reef, take the first left after entering the park. It is located directly north of Red Drum pavilion and the Navarre Beach Science Station. The site can be seen from the beach. This site is more conducive for diving than for snorkeling and is identified on all four corners by pilings and marked with ""SNORKELING REEF" "NO MOTORIZED VESSELS". At 700 ft. from shore this site consists of 77 structures spaced 10 ft. apart in 20 ft. of water with the tops of each structure at 14ft below the surface. Visibility ranges from 2-4 ft. in the summer, to 7-10 ft. in the winter. Water temperatures range from 65 - 85 degrees. Expect to see our resident sheepshead year round swimming in and out of the structures. We recommend a compass and flashlight at this site and buddy lines might be helpful.
The East Sound Side Reef is the smallest of the three sites located northwest of Sandpiper pavilion. This site is the most accessible of the three sites and is identified on all four corners with pilings marked with ""SNORKELING REEF" "NO MOTORIZED VESSELS". The site is about 150ft from shore and consists of 28 structures spaced 10ft apart in 12ft of water with the tops at 7ft below the surface.
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