Dry Tortugas snorkeling is one of the main reasons for visiting this amazing National Park. Since the entire park is a marine sanctuary, which includes the seven islands plus the water around them, the marine world is abundant and healthy. Dry Tortugas National Park covers one hundred square miles, all of it protected. No fishing, spearfishing, or any type of collection of any type of marine life whatsoever. Here in the picture you can see a mutton snapper and a blue tang hanging around one of the pilings at Fort Jefferson. This is just a short swim from the beach, so even beginners can experience this bit of Dry Tortugas snorkeling.
The snorkeling area at Dry Tortugas extends from the swimming area on the beach around the corner from these pilings, all the way north to the northwest corner of Fort Jefferson. Basically you can follow the moat to the right after entering the water from the beach area. Visitors report seeing a very wide variety of marine life while Dry Tortugas snorkeling. These include rays, starfish, tarpon, star coral, brain coral, purple sea fans, yellowtail damselfish, blue tangs, angelfish, parrotfish, needlefish, groupers, snappers, neon gobys, and butterflyfish.
You can snorkel the pylons or posts which once supported docks for loading coal, on two sides of the fort. The pilings have stood for over one hundred years, accumulating coral, which is habitat for fish.
There are no life guards at the Dry Tortugas so snorkel safely. Don’t touch coral, because it may cause their mucous membranes to erode, leaving the coral species susceptible to disease and death.
Key West and the Florida Keys is home to some of the most diverse saltwater ecosystems in the United States. This draws anglers from all over the world to fish the water surrounding the islands.
Key West Fishing is a major draw to people coming to the Islands for vacation. There are many key west fishing charter operations that cater to people of all skill levels. So if you are into fishing it is highly recommended to try your luck on one of the many boats waiting for you.