Key West is not only oil-free, but snorkelers and divers are actually experiencing unusually clear water in Gulf waters.
Online PR News – 28-June-2010 – – Every year, summer's calm waters in Key West invite divers and snorkelers to explore the marine world and see for themselves the amazing variety of life in the underwater ecosystem. This year is no exception, with unusually clear water even on the Gulf side, which isn't typically known for good visibility. With visibility ranges of up to 40 feet this week, divers have had an unexpected treat as they view coral colonies, wrecks, and schools of fish that might not be so visible were it not for the clear water encountered lately.
Water in the Gulf of Mexico's inshore waters around Key West is typically a murkier shade of green, with less than ten feet of visibility on most days. Most Key West snorkeling trips take visitors to the reef on the Atlantic side of the island. Here, closer to the Gulf Stream, the water is clearer. Coral, schools of fish, turtles and the marine world is more visible to both snorkelers and divers who come to Key West to see the underwater ecosystem up close.
But this week, the water has been clear on the Gulf side, giving snorkelers and divers the option to see what the marine life is like on the other side of the island. The Gulf sees less traffic from boats, and sea grass beds are healthier. The patch reefs are just brimming with life, including the millions of tiny young fish and bait fish that may later make their way to the reef on the Atlantic side.
"This clear Gulf water has been such a wonderful treat" says Donna Dewsnap, who works on a private snorkel charter boat. "I always love it when the Gulf side is clear, because the coral and other aquatic life has a slightly different look on that side". Ms. Dewsnap has been snorkeling in Key West Florida for eight years. She adds that the ecosystem is very healthy on the Gulf side of Key West, sometimes called the back country. Although many flats fishing charters travel to the back country for fishing, snorkel boats usually head for the Atlantic when taking guests out for a look at the coral and fish.
The oil so far hasn't come close to marring the beauty of Key West's most precious natural resources, the marine world. Visitors are still enjoying the clear waters on both sides of the island, from Sand Key Lighthouse to the patch reefs on the Gulf side. Key West activities on the water are going strong: all businesses are open, charter fishing is going strong, diving the Vandenberg and other popular Key West dive spots is still as amazing and beautiful as ever. And now with warm waters of summer and lower winds, any water sport is even more pleasurable. A smooth ride and tropical water temperatures make a Key West vacation perfect for a summer getaway, and the water is as clean as ever, full of aquatic life and the famous coral reef that lines the entire Florida Keys chain of islands.