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Blue Heron Bridge aka Phil Foster Park, BHB - Riviera Beach FL


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Blue Heron Bridge aka Phil Foster Park, BHB is a shore accessible salt water dive site, located at 900 E Blue Heron Blvd. Rt 708, Riviera Beach, FL 33404. This dive site has an average rating of 4.15 out of 5 from 62 scuba divers. The maximum depth is 21-25ft/6-8m. The average visibility is 26-30ft/8-9m. This dive site provides bathrooms and airfills.

Day in and day out, this Riviera Beach location may well be the best shore dive in Florida. It has two distinct sites, tons of small critters for the macro person, enough big fish to keep you looking around, and best of all, it’s free, dawn until sunset.

You never know what may show up, Manatees, schools of whatever and even a Manta ; facebook.com/ForceEScuba/videos/960319150645629/?fref=nf

Dive on high slack tide. You can enter about 30 minutes before high tide and get in an hour dive before currents become a problem. The park closes at dusk so the high tide must be during the day however Force-E, the LDS on Blue Heron Blvd and Pura Vida which is a few blocks east (look on map below) of the park sometimes get permits for a dusk dive, check with them for dates and how to get on the permit. With Pura Vida you get an after hours parking permit to leave on the dash. On night dives it’s some different fish and starfish, more shrimp and squid.

Like all areas in the lagoon system, to get clean water and low current, it should be dived near high slack tide. This means to schedule it, you have to avail yourself to NOAA tide tables. Be at the water’s edge ready to enter 30 minutes before high tide.

Tides; sinkfloridasink.com/blue-heron-bridge-tides-chart-riviera-beach-florida/

Park in Phil Foster Park as near to the bridge as possible. Under the bridge you will see the swim area, divers must stay outside the swim buoys. Suit up and walk down to the water, there is boat traffic here so a diver down flag is a must.

Option 1, swim straight south into the mooring field, there are things living on those moorings but watch your flag doesn’t get tangled on the mooring rode. Starting 7/9/2012 they will be creating an artificial reef here. Pro; less current change here. Con; less to see.

Option 2, swim right under the west span but do not go into the boat channel, there is even a history of boat traffic short cutting between the boat channel and the next bridge piling. Pro; short swim. Con; boat traffic and more current change.

Option 3, either long walk east to the end of the beach or long swim out and around the swimming area toward east span. Here you get more choices, under the east span is macro heaven, shrimp, arrow crabs, seahorses, frogfish, jawfish but it’s dark so you will need a light.

2nd choice at east end of beach, turn right, there is an old fiberglass boat with outboard sitting in 15’ with good marine growth, grunts to arrow crabs.



3rd choice at east end of beach, turn right and head south past the old boat, past the can/spar bouy marking the swimming area, at 19’ is what looks like an old wooden ship hull upside down but isn’t. Great marine growth, lots of fish inside and out, cleaning stations, macro stuff.



Option 4, New reef and snorkel trail puravidadivers.com/blue-heron-bridge-dive-park

More info on snorkel trair with video; floridarambler.com/florida-best-beaches/snorkelin.../?platform=hootsuite

At the end of the dive there are two showers and two bathrooms in the park One west near the channel and another toward the boat ramp.

Yes, the bridge has a FB page! facebook.com/?ref=hp#!/pages/Blue-Heron-Bridge-D...ve-Club/291908803047

Sport Diver magazine sportdiver.com/photos/blue-heron-bridge-secret-mecca-muck

Park info; pbcgov.com/parks/locations/philfoster.htm#.U7yFr5RdWGM

Snorkeling info puravidadivers.com/snorkeling-at-phil-foster-park

More snorkeling info with map: palmbeachillustrated.com/PhilFosterSnorkelTrail

From SportDiver magazines Planet’s 50 greatest dives, #1 on the list: Blue Heron Bridge

West Palm, Florida, USA
If you’re a fan of the Cantina — the fictional bar from Star Wars — and its freakish alien patrons, you’ll love the weird marine life lurking in the shallows of West Palm Beach’s Blue Heron Bridge. Flying gurnards, bandtail sea robins and striated frogfish commonly populate this South Florida site, a critter hunter’s paradise in only 12 feet of water. Time the dive for high tide, and when you’re finished, head to the Riviera Beach Marina and order the catch of the day. — Patricia Wuest

sportdiver.com/photos/planets-50-greatest-dives?c...ortId=MjEwMzc3MDk1S0

A good video tour on YouTube; youtube.com/watch?v=hLIjYX0Mk2s&feature=youtu.be...6LiWUdDSNEhXQUwpcx1U

More info and video; aquaviews.net/scuba-dive-destinations/check-action-fl...0730670014-409007109

(Dive shop at west end of bridge) ForceE’s BHB page has info, video and map; force-e.com/blue-heron-bridge-diving/

(Dive shop at east end of bridge) Pura Vida’s BHB page; puravidadivers.com/dive-blue-heron-bridge-phil-foster-park

Dive shop in the park at North End. Blue Heron Bridge Scuba & Watersports has closed. RayC/LA



AlertDiver story and photos; alertdiver.com/Blue-Heron-Bridge

4/20/2015


Being added to the underwater park June 2015


Now on the west side of the snorkel trail.


Map showing location of sharks


Snorkel trail, those yellow squares are square steel pilings installed in 3/2017


Reef modules added to snorkel trail


It’s official. The FWC ruled to ban Marine Life Collecting at BHB, effective April 1, 2019. Congratulations to everyone who played a part

Dive Site Map

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Comments

LatitudeAdjustment - 3/27/2019 10:24 AM
I went scuba diving here on 3/25/2019. Average viz: 21-25ft/6-8m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
Busy for a weekday. Viz going out to Publix was cloudy but opened up going to east span. Usual stuff, sheepshead, Tangs, Cuda and schools. To busy under bridge for exploring :( This was a leak test of my camera housing with no camera, Passed!
bsharp117 - 3/27/2019 4:40 PM
You seem t odive here alot. I would like to join you one time as I could use a guide with someone tht knows the site well. Ive only been there 1x and didnt see half the stuff you mention in your posts.
LatitudeAdjustment - 3/13/2019 4:37 PM
I went scuba diving here on 3/11/2019. Average viz: 21-25ft/6-8m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
Busy site today, went west under bridge, usual marine life. Yellow stingray, Tangs, Parrots, Barracuda, bunch of hermits around a beer bottle with a blue claw inside, not sure what that was about.
LatitudeAdjustment - 3/07/2019 6:31 AM
I went scuba diving here on 3/5/2019. Average viz: 16-20ft/5-6m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
Night dive with Pura Vida, south to Publix, west around Hammerheads and rocks. Not much nightlife but disturbed a sleeping Manatee :( The usual sleeping Parrots and crabs.
LatitudeAdjustment - 3/03/2019 10:37 AM
I went scuba diving here on 3/25/2019. Average viz: 21-25ft/6-8m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
Went south to Publix and then east. The water was a little milky probably from the wind :( The usual cast of characters, Baracuda lurking, schools hunting, crabs and shrimp hiding and a few Angels out and about.
LatitudeAdjustment - 2/19/2019 6:44 PM
I went scuba diving here on 2/18/2019. Average viz: 16-20ft/5-6m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
Night dive with Pura Vida, usual cast of sleeping Parrots, crabs not seen during the day, cleaning shrimp, Rays and lurking Barracuda
bsharp117 - 2/21/2019 9:21 AM
Was this at BHB
LatitudeAdjustment - 2/16/2019 7:45 AM
I went scuba diving here on 2/20/2018.
Went to West Span, bigger fish, urchin w/sunglasses
LatitudeAdjustment - 2/15/2019 3:58 AM
I went scuba diving here on 3/30/2018. Average viz: 11-15ft/3-5m. Water temp: 66-70°F/19-21°C.
Went to West span, lot’s of starfish, crabs, shrimp, finally found a Batfish, Barracuda
LatitudeAdjustment - 2/15/2019 3:54 AM
I went scuba diving here on 3/23/2018. Average viz: 21-25ft/6-8m. Water temp: 66-70°F/19-21°C.
Usual suspects, camera battery died
LatitudeAdjustment - 2/15/2019 3:49 AM
I went scuba diving here on 2/2/2018. Average viz: 11-15ft/3-5m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
Usual suspects, camera battery died
LatitudeAdjustment - 2/15/2019 3:45 AM
I went scuba diving here on 1/1/2019. Average viz: 31-35ft/9-11m.
South to Publix, greeted by Baracuda, lots of schools, sheepshead, angels, arrowheads
LatitudeAdjustment - 2/15/2019 3:41 AM
I went scuba diving here on 2/8/2019. Average viz: 31-35ft/9-11m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
Went south to Publix, the runabout, east to east channel and back. A little bit of everything including a Manatee.
LatitudeAdjustment - 2/14/2019 5:43 AM
I went scuba diving here on 2/11/2019. Average viz: 31-35ft/9-11m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
Went west for a change, bigger fish, school of Tangs, Parrots, Cuda, Arrow Crabs. Found one small Spotted Moray
EAustin494 - 4/04/2018 9:50 AM
I went scuba diving here on 6/26/2017. Average viz: 61-70ft/19-21m.
EAustin494 - 4/01/2018 6:23 PM
Rating Added: 5
This was on my bucket list and thankfully I went just before the Hurricane. Viz was 50’ with 80 degree water. The current is no joke! you want to go at exactly slack tide or if you go a little early you can do the snorkel trail which is shallow and does not burn much air and then work to deeper water as the current slacks. There is so much to see you don’t want to leave. Get there very early or there will be no where to park, like get there at least an hour early. I highly recommend this dive.
DP - 8/30/2017 8:05 PM
Went diving at BHB on 8/22/17. The visibility was about 30’, lots of colorful fish, couple of stingrays, sea horses, starfish. My son found a stingray barb on the bottom. Started at high tide and dove for an hour. The current was strong in some places. Plenty of parking available during the weekdays. Rented a dive flag for $5 at the local dive shop.
Buddy6968 - 7/09/2017 11:17 PM
Rating Added: 5
This is one of the best Florida dive sites I’ve been to. Easy entry and a great site for beginners to advanced divers... Great spot photography...
JimKoz - 6/27/2017 11:29 PM
Rating Added: 4
Great spot. We saw a lot of sea life (even a batfish!). Very shallow but hey, longer dive. The trick is to get in just before high tide when the water is at it’s height and clarity.
cbm369 - 5/22/2017 2:10 PM
I went scuba diving here on 4/19/2017. Average viz: 36-40ft/11-12m.
cbm369 - 5/22/2017 2:09 PM
I went scuba diving here on 7/3/2016. Average viz: 31-35ft/9-11m.
bsharp117 - 5/08/2017 6:47 PM
Rating Added: 3
Decent Dive