Offshore Reef Guide

Dive Hollywood’s Reefs!

Man diving looking at fish and coral reef

Did you know that….the Florida Reef Tract stretches from the Dry Tortugas all the way to the St. Lucie Inlet for nearly 360 linear miles making it the fifth largest coral reef ecosystem in the world!

But what exactly are coral reef ecosystems and why should you check them out?

Coral reefs are large underwater ecosystems that have been formed over hundreds of years by invertebrates called coral polyps! These coral polyps come in all shapes, colors, and sizes but they join in colonies to form the iconic reefs you might recognize; they are living animals but when they pass away their exoskeletons form stony limestone support for the coral formation which is how they grow over centuries! 

They are often called the ‘rainforests of the sea’ because although they only occupy 1% of the ocean floor, they are a crucial habitat for about 25% of all ocean species! Coral reefs are home to thousands of different plants and animal species! To learn more about our coral reefs, visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s informational page! Underwater photo of beautiful colorful coral reef

The Florida Reef Tract is the only coral reef ecosystem in the continental United States and is divided into the Inner Reef, which is 20-30 feet deep, the Middle Reef, which is 40-60 feet deep, and the Outer Reef, which is 50-100 feet deep! When diving our reefs you can expect to see colorful parrotfish, angelfish, barracuda, nurse sharks, stingrays, delicate corals, turtles, and more!

However, coral reefs are sensitive ecosystems that are sadly being threatened by a variety of factors like climate change, coral bleaching, overfishing, boat anchoring, etc.

Visit NOAA's Coral Reef Ecosystem to learn more about the dangers our reefs are facing and what you can do to help!

One way that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is getting involved and protecting our oceans and everything that lives in them is by administering a state artificial reef program that provides financial and technical assistance to coastal local governments, nonprofit corporations and state universities to construct, monitor and assess artificial reefs.

Now, how do artificial reefs work?

Beauiful underwater photo of coral reefArtificial reefs are man made structures that mimic some characteristics of natural reefs such as providing habitats for different underwater species!

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) and Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) determine what materials can be used for artificial reef sites and once approved large structures are sunk onto the ocean floor. Artificial reefs can be submerged shipwrecks, lighthouses, limestone boulders, etc. Visit the FWC’s Artificial Reef Program to learn more.

Hollywood is proud to have over 3 miles of Atlantic coast that are home to over 20 artificial and natural reef sites for everyone to dive! Refer to the table below to see the coordinates for all of Hollywood’s different reefs!

SITE NAME
MATERIAL
DEPTH LATITUDE LONGITUDE DESCRIPTION
Site D- Marriott Reef
Metal
71 ft
26° 05.479' N
80° 03.946' W
Airplane DC4 (1)
Site D- Te Amo
Vessel
215 ft
26° 05.187' N
80° 03.211' W
Vessel 105'
Chris Craft Molds
Other
210 ft
26° 04.850' N
80° 03.237' W
Fiberglass Boat Molds
Site D - Joe's Nightmare Barge
Vessel
217 ft
26° 04.225' N
80° 04.225' W
Barge 90'
Erojacks Dania
Module
12 ft
26° 03.738' N
80° 06.435' W
Erojacks
Limestone Boulder Piles 1-5
Rock
39 ft
26° 03.165' N
80° 05.790' W
Limestone Boulders (969)
Curry Reef
Vessel
75 ft
26° 00.648' N
80° 05.606' W
Barges
Grady Hopper Barge
Vessel
70 ft
26° 00.615' N
80° 05.644' W
Barge 61'
Seacon - NSWC Array's
Metal
74 ft
26° 00.601' N
80° 05.624' W
Arrays
Site E - Emmi Boggs
Vessel
75 ft
26° 00.606' N
80° 05.617' W
Barge LCM 55'
Miss Dania Beach
Vessel
71 ft
26° 00.605' N
80° 05.502' W
Freighter 126'
Summerfield
Vessel
70 ft
26° 00.601' N
80° 05.599' W
Sailboat Ferro-Cement
Dantor
Vessel
128 ft
26° 00.590' N
80° 04.990' W
Freighter 160'
Captain Dede's
Vessel
74 ft
26° 00.575' N
80° 05.591' W
Sailboat Ferro-Cement 50'
Donal G. Mcallister
Vessel
70 ft
26° 00.548' N
80° 05.565' W
Tugboat 101'
Angler's Avenue Marine
Vessel
70 ft
26° 00.498' N
80° 05.575' W
Sailboat Hull 36'
Site E - Curry Reef
Vessel
75 ft
26° 00.486' N
80° 05.606' W
Barge 30'
Site E - Hollywood Reef Site
Module
70 ft
26° 00.459' N
80° 05.620' W
Reef Ball (10)
Site E - Hollywood
Vessel
65 ft
26° 00.459' N
80° 05.623' W
Barges
Eben-Ezer-2
Vessel
70 ft
26° 00.398' N
80° 05.589' W
Freighter 85'
Spotfin Reef
Natural Reef
65 ft
26° 05.880′ N
80° 05.050′ W
Kayak from the South Ft. Lauderdale Beach kayak launch
Hammerhead Reef
Natural Reef
80 ft
26° 05.250′ N
80° 05.166′ W
Kayak from the beach at John U.Lloyd State Park
Barracuda Reef
Natural Reef
35 ft
26° 04.991′ N
80° 05.719′ W
Kayak or boat from John U. Lloyd State Park, marked by mooring buoys
Yellow Brick Road Natural Reef 15-25ft 26° 01.8652' N 80° 10.6158' W launch from Michigan St. & Boardwalk, just past Margaritaville

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has an interactive map where you can view all the artificial reefs along Hollywood’s coast! 

If you’re interested in visiting more reefs in Broward County, you can visit Florida Go Fishing for a list of all the artificial reefs in Broward County’s 23 miles of Atlantic coast! To read more about Broward County’s involvement in various reef deployment programs or more general information, visit Broward's Beach and Marine Reefs

Boaters, anglers, snorkelers, and divers know the importance that this fragile ecosystem has for our community. It is estimated that the Florida Reef system supports more than 70,000 jobs and $6 billion in annual income. A survey study from June 2000 to May 2001 concluded that in Broward County a total of 9.4 million residents and visitors visited natural and artificial reefs along the County’s shoreline. The same study showed that reef related expenditures generated $2.1 billion in annual revenue for the County. It is every users’ responsibility and obligation to help protect and educate those who do not know the importance and value of this ecosystem.

Tips to help protect our reefs:

Boaters and Anglers

Snorkelers and Scuba Divers

  • Take time to find the correct weight needed to maintain neutral buoyancy.
  • Maintain all gear tucked-in or clipped to avoid dragging on the reef.
  • Do not touch, harass or disturb marine life.
  • Follow proper spearfishing and lobstering regulations and techniques.
  • Use reef-friendly sun protection.
  • Properly clean gear between each dive.
  • Some trash can be picked up to help clean our reefs, like monofilament fishing line, bottles and cans. Larger or more unwieldy debris such as rope, anchors, or abandoned lobster traps can be reported.

Happy diving, Hollywood!