Since 1997, the Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association (MBARA) has developed an extensive artificial reef system just offshore from Mexico Beach. The organization has three functions:
- Conservation and environmental improvement of natural and artificial reef systems near Mexico Beach, Florida
- Research and evaluation of artificial reef designs, biomass development, and fish production
- Educating the public about the importance of reefs to the marine ecosystem and their impact on coastal communities
MBARA also hosts one of Mexico Beach’s best events: the Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association Kingfish Tournament; the organization also publishes a regular newsletter.
The MBARA website offers a complete listing of nearly 200 artificial reefs and sells a plastic directory of all sites with range, bearing, TDs and Lat/Long for your GPS. The website features videos of many dive sites as well.
Mexico Beach From Below
Reef Locations Map
Historic Shipwreck Dives
The Empire Mica
The Empire Mica was a British steam tanker that was attacked and sunk by the German U-boat U-67, on June 29, 1942. Lying in 105 feet of water, this wreck offers scuba divers a historically significant world-class diving experience.
The Lumber Ship Vamar
The wreck of the Vamar (formerly the Eleanor Bolling) is located in 27 feet of water in the Bell Shoal area. This site, designated as a State Underwater Archaeological Preserve, is accessible by both scuba divers and snorkelers and is often visible from the surface.
Mexico Beach offers divers the opportunity to explore natural reef sites consisting of hard corals and rock formations; artificial sites created with Reef Balls, Reef Pyramids, and 10-foot-tall Reef Maker modules; and a number of barges, tugboats, shrimp boats, towers, and even concrete mixer trucks. Sites range from 2 miles to 30 miles offshore and are at depths of 20 to 120 feet.