EASTERN DRY ROCKS
Average Depth: 15 ft.
Max Depth: 35 ft.
Eastern Dry Rocks: Located in the Sanctuary Preservation Area about six miles south of Key West, the Eastern Dry Rocks is easily accessible and a popular choice for both divers and snorkelers.
Along with the neighbouring Rock Key and Sand Key, the area is protected by rigorous environmental regulations designed to preserve the delicate ecosystem. These Florida coral reefs have the typical composition you’ll find elsewhere in the region, including rubble zones and long fingers of coral separated by deeper sand and coral canyons. Subsequently, divers are not allowed to keep anything from the Sanctuary Preservation Areazone.
On the Southwestern end of the Eastern Dry Rocks lays an old galleon, which is nearly impossible to distinguish. Divers will find stone ballast with brass fittings. This ship has and continues to produce artifacts. The enthusiastic and dedicated diver will be able to unveil some of these items. Large corals and lobsters are commonly seen in this area.
The crevices at Rock Key are deeper and wider than what is usually found at other coral reefs. These wider openings create the perfect hiding habitat for grouper, moray eel and other Florida fish. Over the centuries a number of different ships have wrecked upon these reefs. The LW Maxwell, Dwight and Nathaniel Kemball are just three vessels that wrecked in the mid-1800’s. Plus there was a Spanish ship of unknown name carrying tile that grounded here in the 1800’s.
The Eastern Dry Rocks offers visitors a chance to explore both sandy and coral reef areas, including medium-depth canyons. While depth for the area ranges from five to 35 feet, the site’s location relatively far off shore makes for crystal clear views across the spectrum. Additionally, the relatively limited depth, when coupled with a lack of major obstacles, makes the Eastern Dry Rocks suitable for divers and snorkelers of all levels.
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