The first underwater museum in the US has opened in Florida, in the Gulf of Mexico. Visitors will now get the opportunity to dive 58 feet underwater and explore unique installations that promote the local sea life.

Most of the Gulf of Mexico is considered to be a ‘barren sand flat,’ which is inhospitable to most forms of marine life. However, the sculptures and installations of the new underwater museum will act like an artificial reef. They will be an anchor point for the local aquatic life and coral.

underwater museum of art florida
The ‘Amorphous Octopus’ being lowered into the sea. (Image by Spring Run Media)

The Underwater Museum of Art is a collaboration between the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County and the South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA). Located off the coast of the Grayton Beach State Park, all of the pieces of art being placed underwater are not just striking artworks; they are also designed environmentally to serve as marine habitats.

The Underwater Museum Will Promote Aquatic Life

Opening installations include seven sculptures by various artists. These include “Anamorphous Octopus” by Allison Wickey, “The Grayt Pineapple” by Rachel Herring, and “SWARA Skull” by Vince Tatum. They were all designed to attract marine life and coral and help them flourish.

Divers view the 'Amorphous Octopus' at the underwater museum in Florida
Divers view the ‘Amorphous Octopus’ at the underwater museum in Florida (Image via

“The perspective when viewing the sculptures in a marine environment is drastically different than when on land,” said SWARA board president Andy McAlexander. “The intent of the project was proven within an hour of deployment when we could see schools of bait fish swarming the structures, completely validating the entire effort. I have never been prouder to have had the privilege to work with such talented and visionary people in my life. This project has changed my perspective towards art.”

While the Underwater Museum of Art is already open, several new sculptures will be added each year. It has been designated over an acre of land underwater. Admission to the museum is free, but visitors are expected to be certified scuba divers. It should also be noted that there is a fee to enter Grayton Beach State Park. To find out more, visit the museum’s official website.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here