Be on the lookout for upgrades coming to the Snorkel Trail at the Blue Heron Bridge and Phil Foster Park this week, making the site even more enjoyable for SCUBA divers and snorkelers alike.

From shore, guiding markers will lead swimmers out to the trail on both the east and west sides, enabling easier navigation from either point of entrance.

Interesting additions coming to the Snorkel Trail are 15 artificial reef “modules,” generously donated by the Andrew “Red” Harris Foundation.  Each module is an intricate multi-tiered design that features nooks and crannies to simulate natural fish habitat. Artificial barrel sponges adorn the modules, enhancing the impression they give of miniature fish-sized underwater castles.


Image courtesy the Andrew “Red” Harris Foundation.

Each of the 15 are approximately 8 feet in diameter and stand 4 1/2 feet tall. Individually, they weigh around 5,000 pounds and will be placed in intervals throughout the trail. Positioning and deploying the modules requires the use of a crane, which will be on site at the bridge on Thursday, November 17.

Authorized divers coordinating the event will be underwater filming the placement of each module, which marks the Andrew “Red” Harris Foundation’s first inshore deployment. Follow us on Facebook to see footage when it becomes available!

blue-heron-bridge-mapIn addition to the modules, 600 tons of limestone boulders and flat-rock will also be placed intermittently throughout the Snorkel Trail. These additions smooth the transition from each habitat grouping to the next, facilitating easier navigation in lower visibility conditions and attracting more marine life.

South of the trail, prominent signage will warn boaters of the presence of divers and snorkelers in the water, and provide a visible sign to help snorkelers steer clear of the boating channel.

We will feature a follow up blog with a conditions report and photos from the deployment, so stay tuned!