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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 4.17 out of 5 from 64 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

joe_bird - 6 days 11 hours ago.
I went scuba diving here on 7/2/2020. Average viz: 41-50ft/12-15m. Water temp: Over 85°F/29°C.
bsharp117 - 17 days 9 hours ago.
I went scuba diving here on 6/21/2020. Average viz: 11-15ft/3-5m. Water temp: 81-85°F/27-29°C.
bsharp117 - 26 days 13 hours ago.
I went scuba diving here on 6/12/2020. Average viz: 16-20ft/5-6m. Water temp: 76-80°F/24-27°C.
bsharp117 - 6/07/2020 2:05 PM
I went scuba diving here on 6/7/2020. Average viz: 5-10ft/2-3m. Water temp: 76-80°F/24-27°C.
Finally saw a Seahorse, a lot of hermit crabs.
Had alot of issues with my mask leaking, probably because I didnt shave. I ended the dive after 70 minutes with 120 PSI left in my tank.
joe_bird - 5/31/2020 7:40 PM
I went scuba diving here on 5/31/2020. Average viz: 21-25ft/6-8m. Water temp: 81-85°F/27-29°C.
bsharp117 - 6/01/2020 10:47 AM
Damn, I was there last Saturday and vi was 5-10ft. Glad you had a good dive.
joe_bird - 6/01/2020 1:19 PM
It was good just to be back in the water after two and a half months
bsharp117 - 6/01/2020 4:59 PM
I hear you. Im thinking about doing LBTS on Saturday.
joe_bird - 6/02/2020 6:06 AM
It was good just to be back in the water after two and a half months
joe_bird - 6/03/2020 6:16 PM
I haven’t gone diving there yet, maybe if we get to dive sometime we can go there. Hopefully it’s a good dive even with all this rain.
bsharp117 - 6/04/2020 4:03 PM
Im sure eventually well meet up and dive. Just waiting for mother nature to cooperate.
bsharp117 - 5/29/2020 4:08 PM
I went scuba diving here on 5/23/2020. Average viz: 11-15ft/3-5m. Water temp: 76-80°F/24-27°C.
LatitudeAdjustment - 3/20/2020 6:08 AM
I went scuba diving here on 3/13/2020. Average viz: 36-40ft/11-12m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
Went west, lots of schooling, small spotted eel, parrots, pipefish, angels both adult and juveniles
joe_bird - 3/14/2020 5:02 PM
I went scuba diving here on 3/14/2020. Average viz: 36-40ft/11-12m. Water temp: 76-80°F/24-27°C.
joe_bird - 3/08/2020 3:14 PM
I went scuba diving here on 3/7/2020. Average viz: 5-10ft/2-3m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
LatitudeAdjustment - 3/02/2020 6:22 PM
I went scuba diving here on 3/2/2020. Average viz: 16-20ft/5-6m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
As soon as I put my face in there was a Seahorse :) Under the west span were baitfish and a big Rainbow Parrot, near the Hammerheads a Spotted ray, some Barracuda getting cleaned, over on the snorkel trail a Spotted Moray and Arrowcrab. A lot of divers today.
bsharp117 - 3/03/2020 7:43 PM
your so lucky, ive never seen any of that when ive dove there. I havent even been able to find the snorkle trail.
joe_bird - 3/01/2020 6:20 PM
I went scuba diving here on 3/1/2020. Average viz: 21-25ft/6-8m. Water temp: 76-80°F/24-27°C.
bsharp117 - 3/03/2020 7:44 PM
wow, i attempted this site last sunday and called it because of no visibilty and cold water
joe_bird - 3/07/2020 8:38 AM
Vis was great compared to what I’m used to in freshwater lakes in Arizona. Water temp was good despite the chilly weather leading up to the weekend, I was surprised. I wore a full 3 and was comfortable throughout. I think I could have been comfortable with a shorty as well. I figure wear more than you’ll need because you could always cool off, but you can’t warm up during the dive.
bsharp117 - 2/18/2020 6:08 AM
I went scuba diving here on 2/16/2020. Average viz: 11-15ft/3-5m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
LatitudeAdjustment - 2/14/2020 6:11 AM
I went scuba diving here on 2/12/2020. Average viz: 21-25ft/6-8m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
Out to Publix then east along snorkel trail to channel and back. Lot’s of schooling, sheepshead, grouper, angels, damsels defending their farm and one spotted eel out hunting, no crabs
NancyHobbies - 1/27/2020 5:22 PM
I went scuba diving here on 1/27/2020. Average viz: 5-10ft/2-3m. Water temp: 76-80°F/24-27°C.
First of many dives here! Downloading GoPro vids now!
bsharp117 - 2/08/2020 3:01 PM
If youu need a dive buddy next time you go hit me up. Bernie
LatitudeAdjustment - 12/08/2019 6:53 AM
Here’s the 2020 night dive schedule, unfortunately many are weekends when the park is crowded. Check tide charts for exact times, most are twilight dives.
oceanbound - 12/29/2019 11:15 AM
cool! Thanks for adding this
bsharp117 - 2/08/2020 4:23 PM
Thans for the chart. Where did you find it so I can download it onto my laptop.
ScubaEarth - 9/27/2019 10:18 PM
Rating Added: 5
I love the variety of sea life under the bridge pilings
bsharp117 - 6/03/2020 8:48 AM
Id love to dive BHB with you and you show me around it. Ive never seen all the cool creatures poeple talk about on heref
AlanDewey - 6/27/2019 8:39 AM
I have dove BHB a couple hundred times.
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.