The Blue Heron Bridge Snorkel Trail is Expanding

A seahorse sits nestled among soft corals, just one of many species of marine life that call the waters beneath the Blue Heron Bridge home. Photo by Andrea Whitaker.

Bright blue waters and an abundance of tropical fish, octopus and eels already make the Blue Heron Bridge at Phil Foster Park in Palm Beach County one of the top shore diving locations in the United States. This location is home to more than 100 species of marine life. Now, modifications are being made to the snorkel trail just south of the bridge, which will make the site even more enjoyable for SCUBA divers and snorkelers.

In November of last year, 15 artificial reef modules, generously donated by the Andrew “Red” Harris Foundation, were placed at intervals along the current trail. Each module is an intricate multi-tiered design that features nooks and crannies to simulate natural fish habitat. Artificial barrel sponges adorn the modules, enhancing the impression they give of miniature fish-sized underwater castles.

In addition to the modules, 600 tons of limestone boulders and flat-rock have already begun to be placed intermittently throughout the snorkel trail. These additions expanded the current limestone and rock piles that made up the majority of the trail. New limestone structures will smooth the transition from each habitat grouping to the next, facilitating easier navigation in lower visibility conditions and attracting more marine life.

From shore, guiding markers will lead swimmers out to the trail on both the east and west sides. This will enable easier navigation from either point of entrance. South of the trail, prominent signage will be put in place to warn boaters of the presence of divers and snorkelers in the water.

High tide tables and maps of the Blue Heron Bridge are available for free at Pura Vida Divers, located at 2513 Beach Court on Singer Island. Stop by the shop to pick one up, and talk to our knowledgeable staff for tips and guidance on snorkeling or scuba diving the site.

If you’re new to the area, or just beginning to scuba dive, you can arrange a guide with a dive professional. Photo guides are also available for those already interested in underwater photography, or for divers who are new to macro-style photography.

The Blue Heron Bridge is an important habitat for juvenile fish and other marine species. Join Pura Vida Divers on Friday, March 10 at 6:15 pm for a free social night to learn more about this essential natural resource.

Certified divers attending the event will benefit from the social night, as it will serve as the classroom portion of the Blue Heron Bridge Specialty, a PADI-endorsed certification offered exclusively at Pura Vida Divers. Divers can then join a Pura Vida Instructor for a shore dive at the bridge to complete the course. Anyone interested must register for the class in advance.

Call the shop at (561)-840-8750 to RSVP to the Social Night, sign up for the class, or with questions about diving or snorkeling at the Blue Heron Bridge. Visit the Pura Vida Divers website, at www.puravidadivers.com for updates as changes are made to the snorkel trail.

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