Martin County’s Atlantic beaches span nearly 22 miles along our coast and include Jensen Beach, Stuart Beach, Sailfish Point, St. Lucie Inlet State Preserve, Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge, and the Town of Jupiter Island.
These beaches are an integral part of the quality of life in Martin County, generate considerable revenue to the economy of Martin County, and support homes, businesses and related infrastructure (roads, utilities) for many residents and visitors.
Bathtub Reef is located just offshore at Bathtub Beach Park and is a popular spot for snorkelers due to the large numbers of marine creatures and fish that congregate there. Its presence is also a key factor in creating the “bathtub effect” of very shallow waters during low tide that make it such a favorite swimming location for families with young children.
Bathtub Reef is a fascinating reef system, created by tiny tube-building Sabellariid sea worms. It is not only an incredibly unique system, but also an extremely fragile one. The worms cement sand grains together, creating a vast network of tube dwellings. Colonies build on top of one another over time and create a reef system that helps break waves and reduce beach erosion. This habitat is used by more than 500 marine species including endangered sea turtles that forage on and around the reef.