Scuba diving at the world renowned Blue Heron Bridge, also known as Phil Foster Park, is something every diver who visits West Palm Beach, Florida should experience. The Blue Heron Bridge was chosen in 2013 as the best dive site in the world by PADI’s Sport Diver magazine for good reasons… Its diversity of marine life and its easy accessibility are just two of the many important traits of this terrific dive site.
When you dive Blue Heron Bridge you encounter numerous sea creatures that are a rarity to find throughout the world. Seahorses and pipefish in all sizes and colors make the top of the list at this amazing dive site. Octopus, including the Atlantic long arm (aka. mimic octopus), can be found while diving here. Add to the list the odd marine life such as sea robins, flying gurnards, batfish, frogfish, stargazers, and over 100 different species of nudibranchs to name a few.
Dive Blue Heron Bridge and see something new each time. It will leave you yearning for more! Just look at this one example of a single dive at the Blue Heron Bridge. Paul Humann and Ned Deloach, authors of the Reef Fish Identification books, call the Blue Heron Bridge, “Florida’s exotic critter capital.”
Dive Blue Heron Bridge for a simple and FREE beach shore dive. The deepest depth you’ll find at the bridge is just over 20 feet. A 45 minute to two hour dive is the norm here. Best of all, no matter what the weather is like out on the open ocean, the Blue Heron Bridge is still accessible for diving thanks to its location in the protected Lake Worth Lagoon. Few dive sites in the world give you the option to dive when the weather turns for the worst.
There is snorkeling at Phil Foster Park, too! With the recent addition of a snorkel trail at the Blue Heron Bridge, even those who are not scuba certified can enjoy this amazing marine park. Opened in August 2012, the Phil Foster Park Artificial Reef and Snorkel Trail is an 800-foot-long tract of artificial reef incorporating more than 600 tons of Anastasia rock boulders in a depth ranging from six to ten feet. In the short span of time since it was created, the Phil Foster Park Artificial Reef and Snorkel Trail has attracted countless marine life. All kinds of juvenile tropical fish can be seen flirting in and out of this artificial reef.
Getting to Phil Foster Park to dive Blue Heron Bridge is easy! Best of all, we are located just around the corner. Pura Vida Divers is located on Singer Island (just past the Blue Heron Bridge), west of Ocean Mall. Here are some Google Map directions to get to our dive shop. We have tanks, weights, dive gear, and dive flags available for rent or purchase. We also offer dive guides for hire to enhance your experience.
DIVING THE BLUE HERON BRIDGE
The dive site is separated into two distinctive parts: the smaller bridge on the southeastern side, and the larger bridge on the southwestern side of Phil Foster Park. Both areas are separated by a long stretch of beach containing the snorkeling trail and the public’s guarded swimming area.
Diving at the Blue Heron bridge is not difficult but there are a couple of important things to consider when diving here. Because of its location so close to the Lake Worth inlet, tidal flow can quite strong at any time other than slack tide around the bridges. Low slack tide has dirty water from the inlet so visibility will be at its worst. Half an hour before HIGH SLACK TIDE (2017 Tide Schedule) is the best time to enter the water at the Blue Heron Bridge as it brings the clear Atlantic Ocean water.
You will be required to carry a dive flag; the authorities are usually in the area ticketing the divers who don’t. A boat channel runs parallel with the shore about 30 meters from shore and under the center of the large bridge. Make sure to stay clear of those areas!
Fishing is allowed on both bridges so watch for fishing lines and be respectful of their right to fish there. For safety reasons, the lifeguards ask that no diving is done in the guarded swim area near the eastern side of the park. It is okay to enter the water there, but stay afloat until you are out of the guarded swim area which is marked by large orange buoys and signs on the beach.
Lastly, the Phil Foster Park is open from sunrise to sunset, and diving is not allowed at any other time without a special permit from the county. Pura Vida Divers has a permit to dive there, though. If you would like to do a Blue Heron Bridge night dive, call us or check our Facebook page to join our FREE night dives. Don’t miss the opportunity to dive Blue Heron Bridge at night!
BLUE HERON BRIDGE DIVE SPECIALTY
Pura Vida Divers teamed up with PADI to offer an exclusive course you can only find here — the Blue Heron Bridge Distinctive Specialty course. The goal of our exclusive PADI Blue Heron Bridge Distinctive Specialty dive course is to produce better divers at this unique dive site. Caring for this special dive site and the creatures that live here begins with knowledge. The PADI Blue Heron Bridge Distinctive Specialty course even counts towards your Master Scuba Diver certification! Join Pura Vida Divers for this exclusive PADI distinctive course today.
LET US BE YOUR GUIDE
Pura Vida Divers employees regularly dive Blue Heron Bridge. Our years of experience and our regular visits to this magnificent dive site means we can help you find those rare and unique sea creatures. We are available for hire as private guides. Call us to learn more and book a dive.
Pura Vida Divers is the official sponsor of Phil Foster Park through the Adopt-A-Park Program. If you’d like to help keep Blue Heron Bridge and Phil Foster Park free from harmful debri, join us on our next cleanup!
Make sure to stop by our store and receive a free tide chart highlighting the best times to dive as well as a map highlighting the dive site.