Beacon Inventory

Map showing the location of Totten beacons in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Click on map for more information.

Even 160 years later, evidence of Lt. Totten’s beacons can still be found in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS), where they represent the life-saving activities of the U.S. Coast Survey, which later became part of NOAA. Please do your part to help protect these historic sites and all the sanctuary’s maritime heritage resources, so they may be enjoyed by future generations. When diving, remember to control your buoyancy, since archaeological sites can be as fragile as the marine life they support. Disturbance and removal of artifacts is prohibited by sanctuary regulation. It’s best to leave these pieces of history where they are for others to enjoy.

Ten of the 15 1850-era beacons are located within FKNMS. Archaeological surveys conducted prior to 2014 located the remains of many of these beacons while some of the beacons’ geographic locations are only known from historical sources. During the 2014 project, researchers documented five beacons: Eastern Sambo, American Shoal, Pickles Reef, French Reef, and Turtle Reef.

Beacon Coordinates

Beacon A: Eastern Sambo
Coordinates: 24° 29.533' N / 081° 39.916' W

Note: Eastern Sambo is a Research-Only Area, a sanctuary permit is required for entry.

Beacon B: American Shoal
Coordinates: 24° 31.400' N / 081° 31.266' W

Beacon C: Alligator Reef
Coordinates: 24° 46.041' N / 080° 45.187' W

Beacon D: Crocker Reef
Coordinates: 24° 54.618' N / 080° 31.674' W

Beacon E: Conch Reef
Coordinates: 24° 57.108' N / 080° 27.765' W

Beacon F: Pickles Reef
Coordinates: 24° 59.459' N / 080° 24.897' W

Beacon G: French Reef
Coordinates: 25° 02.153' N / 080° 21.037' W

Beacon H: Grecian Shoals
Coordinates: 25° 7.22' N / 080° 17.57' W

Beacon I: Elbow Reef
Coordinates: 25° 09' N / 080° 16' W

Beacon K: Turtle Reef
Coordinates: 25° 16.935' / 080° 12.5' W

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