There are over 40 local wrecks that lay in 60′ to 130′ of water and over 80 wrecks in total sunk in the Miami area and many more are slated to come over the next few years. These wrecks are limited to divers that hold Advanced cards or above and we recommend using Nitrox.
Open Water Divers are welcome one some of these dives as long as you hire an instructor to guide you. As the port of Miami is one of the busiest sea port in the world there are many opportunities to acquire new boats to sink. Customs can seize vessels that were used to smuggle drugs and with the owners in jail and the ship quickly racking up dock fees, sometimes selling the boat for scrap is the only alternative.
Some boats arrive in here barely seaworthy and find their final resting place here in Miami. DERM, the Dade County Environmental Resource Management division then negotiated with the owners (or customs) to take the boats, environmentally clean them and prepare them to be sunk off the shore of Miami for the intended use of sport diving and fishing.
The first boat to be sunk as a part of the artificial reef program was the Orion, a steel tug sunk off Key Biscayne in 1981. Since then freighters, barges, yachts, tugs, a water tower, oil platforms, army tanks and even a 727 has been sunk(which has since fallen apart). Typical aquatic life found in Miami are Eels, Grouper, schools of Snapper, Jewfish (or the new politically correct Goliath Grouper), Stingrays, Nurse sharks (harmless), Tarpon, Snook, Cobia, Octopus and a wide variety of tropical fish.