Diving Best Practices

Protecting the Reef While You Dive

Divers are important stewards of Gray's Reef and we appreciate your help to protect this beautiful national treasure. Here are some tips to best protect you and the reef:

  • Anchoring is not permitted, but divers may use a weighted marker buoy as reference to locate their dive site. Marker buoys can weigh up to 10 pounds with a buoy line up to one quarter of an inch.
  • Control your buoyancy and streamline equipment to avoid bumping into marine life or touching the reef.
  • Remember not to touch or take anything.
  • Keep a safe distance from marine animals.
  • Do not spearfish; it is prohibited at Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary.
  • Any in-water activity, such as scuba diving, must display a diver-down flag that marks the diving area.
    • Alpha Flag. Blue and white vertically striped flag. A blue and white International Code Flag A (or Alfa flag) is required on vessels on federally controlled waters
    • Divers Flag. Rectangular red flag with white diagonal stripe. A rectangular red flag, at least 15" x 15", with a white diagonal stripe is required on state waters.
  • Other vessels must remain at least 100 feet away from the divers in the water.
  • Keep a watchful eye and have fun!

For more information, visit our Regulations page.