Do you love art, scuba diving, and supporting our underwater ecosystems? If you said yes to one, two, or all, you absolutely must check out the Underwater Museum of Art (UMA)
The Underwater Museum of Art is the first permanent underwater sculpture garden in the USA. It is located off the gorgeous shore of Walton County, in the Gulf of Mexico. It lies at a depth of 58 feet and is almost a mile off the coast of Grayton Beach State Park.
How Does it Work?
Each year, a selection of sculptural works from artists worldwide are installed in the garden. Each sculpture is designed to attract marine life and eventually turn into a living reef. Seeing how 95% of our shores are barren sand flats, this allows for biological replenishment. Plus, it provides ample opportunities for marine scientists, wildlife professionals, ecologists, and students to study marine life and determine how successful artificial reefs are in helping the Gulf ecosystem.
How Did it Get Started?
UMA began in 2018 when it partnered with The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County and the South Walton Artificial Reef Association with support from Visit South Walton, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Alys Foundation, and Visit Florida. Together, they have combined art with our beautiful Gulf of Mexico to create something extraordinary. You can learn more about the organizations supporting UMA HERE.
How Can I See It? The UMA is located via the Grayton Beach State Park, which features various fun activities for the whole family. Unfortunately, you can't see the museum from the shore as it is underwater. Those who wish to get up close and personal with the museum need to be certified divers capable of swimming in open water. If that's you, you can book a tour with Diva30A or Emerald Coast Scuba.
If you are an experienced diver who doesn't need a tour, please make sure to read the rules and regulations for diving in the museum before you depart to ensure your safety and the safety of the museum itself.
If you really want to see the museum but don't know how to dive, you can take a peek at the gallery to get a look at the sculptures, or you can take dive lessons! Emerald Coast Scuba offers an Open Water Diver class at the UMA.
Do you want to support our waters and our artists? UMA is always on the lookout for partnerships and support. If you would like to learn how you can help UMA, click HERE.
Make the Emerald Coast Your Home
The Emerald Coast offers a wide variety of amenities from incredible natural elements to manmade attractions and sometimes a combo of both like the UMA. Due to this, the Emerald Coast is an excellent choice to live, work, and own second or vacation homes. If you would like to make the Emerald Coast your home, or you want to take advantage of the plethora of tourist industry by investing in a vacation rental, give me a call today for more information.