The 120-mile Florida Keys island chain is home to North America’s only living-coral barrier reef. This teeming backbone of marine life runs the length of the Keys about five miles offshore. Our coral formations are famous for their abundance of fish, from impressive schools of blue-striped grunts to toothy green moray eels. The U.S. government established the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to protect our marine habitat.
Preserving the reef is a top priority for a good reason. There is no more versatile marine destination in the world. We have coral-encrusted ship wrecks and intricate natural coral formations. We have shallow reefs for snorkelers, and a range of deeper reefs for experienced divers.
Also 6 miles from Key Largo is the Spiegel Grove wreck.The retired Navy transport ship was intentionally sunk six miles off Key Largo to form the backbone of a coral-reef ecosystem. It is the largest ship ever intentionally sunk for that reason
The algae, sponges and corals that are slowly enveloping the Spiegel Grove are wondrously natural. The ship is home to legions of fish from tiny tropicals to large barracuda and jacks.