Coffins Patch Sanctuary Preservation Area

Map of Coffins Patch Sanctuary Preservation Area

The shallow patch reefs of the Coffins Patch Sanctuary Preservation Area (SPA), located approximately four and a half miles off Key Colony Beach, offer some of the best snorkeling in the Middle Keys.

Tangs, jacks, stingrays, nurse sharks (Ginglymostoma cirratum), groupers, lobsters, butterflyfish, and the curious moray eel (Gymnothorax spp.) all call Coffins Patch home. Plying the easy currents among soft corals are up to three-foot round boulder corals, and this area has historically been known for patches of pillar coral (Dendrogyra cylindricus). Pillar coral may be found at the west end of the SPA at a depth of 25 feet.

Very high water temperatures in the summer of 2023 have caused widespread coral bleaching and mortality in the Florida Keys. Descriptions of coral cover or coral health on this page may not be accurate based on current conditions.

Special regulations apply here. Learn more about what activities are allowed in this type of zone.

A summary of all sanctuary regulations is available online. For the full text of sanctuary regulations, see 15 CFR 922 Subpart P.