Petition to Protect the Blue Heron Bridge Diving Area, Riviera Beach, Florida

  • Author:
  • Send To:
    City of Riviera Beach, FL
  • Sponsored By:
    Members of and Palm Beach County Diving Association
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We the undersigned request the enactment of a law, regulation, and/or ordinance prohibiting the taking of any and all types of marine creatures (including but not limited to seahorses, frogfish, batfish, blennies, gobies, damsels, crabs, shrimp, octopus, angelfish, wrasses, jawfish, scorpion fish, rays, butterfly fish, parrot fish, nudibranchs, slugs, and worms), sponges, corals, aquatic plants and grasses from the waters underneath the Blue Heron Bridge, Riviera Beach, Florida, (including the smaller east span) and the surrounding waters (i.e., 300 feet to the north and south of the bridge) by any and all means.

We request this action because this area of water is a very unique and popular scuba diving and snorkeling site that is well known internationally for its diverse concentration of marine creatures; but, the area is being depleted and destroyed by individuals capturing the creatures, sponges, corals, and plants/grasses for sale to others and/or for display in personal aquariums.

The Blue Heron bridge is located on the eastern most section of the continental United States, where the warm water of the Gulf Stream current comes in closer than any other place on the east coast. This current brings in larval animals and juveniles of tropical marine species not found anywhere else on the east coast of the United States, depositing them directly under the Blue Heron bridge. The tropical species intermingle with the temperate species normally found in this area, creating one of the most diverse marine habitats anywhere in the United States.

We the undersigned seek to put an immediate stop to the destruction of this unique marine habitat.

--- Additional Information ---

Lazaro Ruda, a frequent diver of the Blue Heron Bridge, notes that the following animals are regularly found at the bridge:

Seahorses (Lined, Longsnout, Dwarf, Pipehorse)
Pipefish (Shortfin, Harlequin, many others)
Frogfish (Striated, Dwarf, Ocellated, many others)
Stargazers (Northern and Southern species)
Flying Gurnard (tons of them)
Searobin (Bandtail and Leopard species)
Batfish (Shortnose, Red-lipped, Polka-dot)
Nudibranchs and Flatworms (many new species)
Rays (Southern, Atlantic, Roughtail, Eagle)
Flounders and Sole
Blennies (Countless species)
Gobies (Countless species)
Octopus (Common, Reef, Atlantic Longarm [Mimic], Pygmy)
Shrimp (Mantis, Bumblebee, Coral Banded (red & yellow), and more)
Eels (every species in the atlantic and MORE)

... and this is just a small of list of the odd and unique. The Blue Heron Bridge is a haven for juvenile tropicals.

For some images of just a few of the animals, see a gallery here:

Also, Laz has written a good article about the bridge: