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Scuba Diving Florida Keys GPS
Coordinates For Marathon Reefs

Scuba diving Florida Keys is one of the most sought after activities there is for anyone planning a Florida Keys vacation.

The Atlantic side of the Florida Keys is basically one long section of coral reef.

To be specific, it's not one continuous length as there are obviously gaps. However, in comparison to the distance the reef stretches, these gaps are relatively few and narrow.

This means the coral reefs act almost like a barrier island.

The reefs protect the land and keep the water between the reef and the shore calmer. Since many of the coral reefs are closer to shore, they're also shallower on the land side, and this is one of the reasons scuba diving and snorkeling in the Keys is so popular.

Pink Tinged Pillar Coral

Pink Tinged Coral, Photo FKMNS

In some ways, when you scuba dive Florida Keys, it resembles the childhood game 'pin the tail on the donkey'. This is when a picture of a donkey is attached to a wall, and then the blindfolded child is spun around and around.

Fully disoriented, the child then tries to find the donkey and attempts to pin the tail as closely as possible to it's proper position. The winner is the child who succeeds in getting closest to the intended mark.

With 221 miles of beautiful coral reef stretching from the north end of the Keys to the Dry Tortugas National Park it's not hard to find a place to 'pin that tail'. What is hard however, is being able to pin the exact spot - the one you really want to explore when Marathon diving.

To help you find your best Florida Keys dive sites, I've chosen the following Marathon scuba diving spots so you can pin closer to "your true mark." This will help you to make the most of the time you have for scuba diving Florida Keys.

Coral Reefs in Marathon Florida Area

These Florida Keys dive sites are listed in geographical order from north to south. Each highlighted name will link you to a separate page that provides detailed information on that particular dive site.

Keep in mind that GPS coordinates are not always exact. A lot of factors go into creating a coordinate, including where they were taken. If you treat them simply as a guide and remember there could be a slight variation, you won't be disappointed. You'll certainly be within reasonable distance of your target if you're not already on top of it.

Tennessee Reef
24 45.845N 080 45.401W

Coffins Patch (6 Reefs)
24 41.540N 080 56.846W

The Gap
24 39.960N 08058.310W

Samantha Reef
24 39.494N 081 00.316W

Delta Shoal
24 37.919N 081 05.434W

Sombrero Light & Reef
24 37.600N 081 06.600W

Spectacularly red stoplight parrotfish live amid the coral reefs

The Bright Red of the Stoplight Parrotfish is Brilliant Against the Coral
Courtesy of NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program
Photo by George Cathcart

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
Special Use Areas

Everyone knows that Key Largo Florida and the Upper Keys are famous for diving, but Marathon Florida and the rest of the Middle Keys have wonderful dive spots as well.

Also, 2 of the 4 Special Use Areas are located within the Middle Keys. They are Tennessee Reef and Looe Key (patch reef). Conch Reef is in the Upper Keys and Eastern Sambo is in the Lower Keys.

You'll want to make sure on your Florida Keys diving vacation that you have dive maps and/or dive cards for the various dive sites you'll be exploring. These make a big different in your dive experience and even in your safety as you'll know more of what to expect at each Florida Keys dive spot.

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Special Use Areas are designated sections of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS). They've been established so scientists can monitor, research, restore or establish areas to confine, protect and even restrict activities from harming sensitive areas.

As part of the effort to minimize impact on these habitats the following regulations are enforced:
. You cannot enter a Special Use Area without a FKNMS permit
. You are forbidden from discharging any matter into the water except for cooling water and engine exhaust
. No fishing of any sort is allowed and this includes removing, harvesting or possessing any marine life
. Touching or standing on living or dead coral
. Anchoring on living or dead coral or any attached organism

Nurse Shark By a Reef

Nurse Shark are Commonly Seen Around Reefs, Photo FKNMS

Of course when scuba diving Florida Keys, adventure awaits around every nook, crevice, ledge and drop. The possibilities are endless, now it's up to you to grab that tail and pin it!

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Local Weather Zip Codes

Key Largo - 33037
Marathon - 33050
Key West - 33040