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How is the sea water in Jacksonville?

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Turin, Italy
Level Contributor
13 posts
15 reviews
How is the sea water in Jacksonville?

Id like to ask how is the sea water of Jacksonville, clear or dirty?

Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
7,713 posts
1. Re: How is the sea water in Jacksonville?

Definitely not as clear as the Mediterranean Sea, but many people bathe in it.

Level Contributor
1,494 posts
198 reviews
2. Re: How is the sea water in Jacksonville?

Clearness depends on a few things...time of year, season, temperature, Gulf Stream, etc.

It's clearer than beaches to the north of Jax, and darker than, say, Miami...

BUT, it's a pretty beach, and it's clean. Many people (millions) enjoy the local beaches every year.

Level Contributor
56 posts
30 reviews
3. Re: How is the sea water in Jacksonville?

Our beaches are always rated as some of the cleanest, but the clarity depends on many things, like tides, and where you go. Fort George Inlet north of Hugenot Park has beautiful clear water.

Level Contributor
1,494 posts
198 reviews
4. Re: How is the sea water in Jacksonville?

I forgot about Fort George. Good recommendation.

Neptune Beach, FL
Level Contributor
3,008 posts
93 reviews
5. Re: How is the sea water in Jacksonville?

Hello Nicolo,

The ocean water here is clean but it is not clear. In four feet of water, you cannot see your feet. Because of that, we don't snorkel or skin dive here. For clear ocean water in Florida, you need to go a couple hundred miles farther south. On the other hand, Jacksonville has lots of wind so there is good kite boarding and wind surfing in the ocean. Lots of people go out surfing too but we don't have good waves like California and Hawaii. We have miles and miles of straight, wide beaches with yellow sand that packs firmly when wet and is easy to walk and run on. Most of the time there are not a lot of little broken seashells that are hard to step on with bare feet but sometimes some wash up in limited areas.

Hope you will come for a visit!


Vero Beach, Florida
Destination Expert
for Vero Beach
Level Contributor
7,183 posts
56 reviews
6. Re: How is the sea water in Jacksonville?

I'm a former Jacksonville resident. The beaches are at the south end of the Sea Islands, which extend well into South Carolina. This part of the Atlantic has large tidal ranges (around 5 feet for Jacksonville--I'm pulling the number out of memory) which makes for lots of tidal inlets and water flowing in and out of salt marshes, which thrive on the water movements. So the ocean is regionally kind of turbid with organic material from the marshes. The long St. Johns River, which empties into the ocean at Mayport, also brings tea-colored water, thanks to organic material.

The tidal range and abundant fine sand make the beaches broad, superlative for walking, barefoot running, or bicycling.

A local surfing website provides daily photos from the beach, and has an interesting archive going back several years.


The latest report shows unusually good surf and the water (largely at Hanna Park) looking good.


Douglas, Georgia
Level Contributor
18 posts
1 review
7. Re: How is the sea water in Jacksonville?

I wouldn't go here for a pretty beach. Destin or Panama city is a much prettier beach. You can definitely see your feet in 5 feet of water over there. In general, the gulf beaches are much prettier than the Atlantic coast beaches.

Edited: 1:28 pm, October 18, 2012
8. Re: How is the sea water in Jacksonville?

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