PADI 5 Star Diving Center and Lessons

Local Florida Reefs

There are many fantastic reefs around the local Ft Lauderdale area that are accessible for divers and snorkelers and abound with life. These shallow reefs are favored by many scuba divers during lobster season where you will see the reefs crawling with bugs. Grouper, tarpon and snook also like to take refuge under the shallow water ledges. Nurse sharks and a variety of tropical fish including are also seen. The shallow water allows the sunshine to penetrate the sea floor aiding the growth of the reefs. The light also allows snorkelers and divers to see the beautiful colors of the reef.

Some of our local reefs include the following.

Barracuda Reef

Surrounded by 29 mooring buoys--the first markers to be installed in Broward County--Barracuda reef is an excellent spot for fish-watching. Located a half-mile out from the John U. Lloyd State Recreational Area, this reef lies in 35 feet of water. The site has a high profile reef ledge that rises 10 to 15 feet from the bottom. This reef offers a sight similar to that of reefs in the Florida Keys with a healthy concentration of staghorn, star, and brain corals. Fish life is plentiful and lobsters, crabs, and moray eels can be found underneath ledges that rise about four feet from the bottom. Boat traffic is heavy in the area and divers should exercise caution when exploring this reef.

Hammerhead Reef

Beginning a half-mile south of Port Everglades, Hammerhead Reef stretches for 2.5 miles and ends at the Dania Pier. The base of the reef lies in 80 feet of water on the eastern side and in 60 feet on the western side. The reef rises to as high as 18 feet in some places. Hammerhead Reef contains many undercuts and ledges which provide shelter for an abundance of tropical marine life. Southern Stingrays can often be found buried in the sand along the edges of the reef. This is a popular drift dive for both private and charter dive boats.

Oakland Ridge Moorings

About three miles north of the Port Everglades Inlet lay the Oakland Ridge moorings. This series of 15 mooring is a marker for a ledge located 18 to 28 feet down. Several caves and crevices provide homes to glassy sweepers and snook. This is a great ledge dive for those divers visiting the area.

Spotfin Reef

Spotfin Reef lies 1.25 miles northeast of the Port Everglades Inlet. This natural reef contains a ledge which begins at 50 feet and drops to a sandy bottom at 65 feet. The ledge has many crevices and caves which protect sea life. Many varieties of hard and soft coral inhabit this area. Divers have reported sightings of numerous grouper and large Mangrove Snapper, with the best chances of a grouper encounter on the west side of the ledge before the drop-off.

The Caves / Twin Ledges Moorings

A shallow series of ledges located about 2 miles north from the Port Everglades Inlet. A system  of 16 moorings mark a broken ledge varying in depth from 20 to 30 feet. This area makes for an easy second after visting the deeper nearby wrecks.


  1. By State law every diver and snorkeler must trail a bright, dive flag so boaters can identify there are people in the water. Be sure your flag has sufficient height and buoyancy to prevent it being pulled under the surface where it would not be visible to boaters. Many divers and snorkelers attach snap hooks to their buoy so they can attach their lobster bags or nets. A snorkeling vest is highly recommended especially if you feel tired.
  2. Always dive with a buddy.
  3. Watch your weather conditions- beware of strong currents and storm y weather. To get yourself out of a rip current swim parallel to the beach and within 20 to 30 feet you will be released from it.

You can purchase a dive flag and float at Lauderdale Diver as well as a book describing local dive and snorkel sites from Hollywood to Jupiter, Florida.

Please call 954 467 2822 or email us [email protected]  to book your dive or snorkel trip.