At the southernmost point of Florida’s Coral Reef, approximately 70 miles west of Key West, Dry Tortugas National Park is 100 square miles of open, picturesque blue waters, seven small islands and the historic Fort Jefferson.
One of the park’s greatest and most magnificent treasures lies below the water’s surface – Florida’s Coral Reef. Among the most vibrant in the Florida Keys, the park’s corals are abundant, representing about 30 species, including elkhorn, staghorn, and pillar coral, all of which are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
This rich landscape of living corals furnishes a unique habitat for a variety of colorful marine life, including parrot fish, angel fish, triggerfish, damselfish and others.
On the edge of the swim area at Garden Key, the second largest island in the Dry Tortugas, visitors can glimpse massive, more than 250-year-old coral colonies and excellent examples of both stony and soft corals.
Located just a few yards off the western shore of Loggerhead Key, the park’s largest island, is Little Africa Reef. This remarkable coral formation is aptly named because the corals collectively resemble the continent of Africa when viewed from the sky.
Visitors to Dry Tortugas National Park can experience Florida’s Coral Reef by snorkeling, diving, boating or guided tour.