Bathtub Reef is located just offshore at Bathtub Beach Park, 1585 SE MacArthur Boulevard in Stuart.
Bathtub Beach is special, due in large part to this reef system just offshore, home to more than 500 marine creatures, including endangered sea turtles. This reef system is created by tiny tube-building Sabellariid sea worms and is not only incredibly unique, 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 in the summer months, creating a “bathtub effect”.
During the calmer seas of spring and summer, it is normal to see sandbars inching toward shore eventually attaching and creating beaches favorable for recreational use. These are also the conditions under which the reef does its best job at keeping the waves from eroding the beach. While this “bathtub effect” is one of the beloved features of the protected waters along the beach, it is important to note that recreational accessibility is greatly impacted by varying seasonal conditions.