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Tips for Divers and Snorkelers

  • Snorkel aware, dive with care! Before booking a reef trip, check out weather conditions. It’s best not to go out in rough seas. Poor visibility, strong winds and waves reduce safe interaction at the reef. 
  • Remember that even the lightest touch with hands or equipment can damage sensitive coral polyps.
  • Snorkelers should wear float coats—inflatable snorkel vests—to allow gear adjustment without standing on the coral. Never stand up on a coral reef!
  • To avoid contact with the ocean bottom, divers should only use the weight needed and practice proper buoyancy control. Areas that appear empty may support new growth if left undisturbed.
  • Avoid wearing gloves and touching or collecting marine life. Most tropical fish captured die within a year. In Florida, Queen conch and coral are protected species, and cannot be taken. Buying them at local shops only depletes reefs elsewhere in the world.
  • Resist the temptation to feed fish; it changes the natural behavior and diet of the fish and is illegal in Florida waters.

Learn the proper behavior when snorkeling with the Proper Reef Etiquette Guide