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

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 ;

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.


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

At the end of the dive there are two showers and a bathroom in the park.

Yes, the bridge has a FB page!!/pages/

Sport Diver magazine

Park info;

Snorkeling info

More snorkeling info with map:

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

More info and video;

(Dive shop at west end of bridge) ForceE’s BHB page has info, video and map;

(Dive shop at east end of bridge) Pura Vida’s BHB page;

Dive shop in the park at North End. Blue Heron Bridge Scuba & Watersports 561-839-5130 available for air and NITROX fills and gear rentals. While your tanks are being filled there is a hot shower outside next to the compressor door and a garbage can full of water to rinse your gear. This shop is why I list the site as having rental gear and fills, RayC/LA

AlertDiver story and photos;


Being added to the underwater park June 2015

Now on the west side of the snorkel trail.

Map showing location of sharks