The country's first underwater museum is about to open off the coast of Florida

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PHOTO VIA UMAFLORIDA/INSTAGRAM
  • Photo via umaflorida/Instagram
The first underwater art museum in the U.S. is set to open by the end of this month, and it's right off the coast of Florida.

The Underwater Museum of Art will be located off Grayton Beach in Walton County and will feature underwater sculptures for divers to admire from beneath the surface. The best part? It's free of charge.

The museum was constructed as part of Art in Public Spaces Program started by the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County and in partnership with the South Walton Artificial Reef Association. Its goal is to inspire creativity while also expanding fishery populations in the site.



The concrete sculptures will double as artificial reefs to provide habitats for sea creatures on what were barren sand reefs. It will span one acre of the Gulf of Mexico's ocean floor and lie about three-quarters of a mile off the Panhandle.

Scuba divers and snorkelers will be able to venture through the seven sculptures and submerge themselves in the underwater adventure of environmentalism and creativity that lies 60 feet under.

The sculptures were chosen by a jury for permanent exhibition and include pieces from American designer Kevin Reilly, Florida-based artist Rachel Herring and other contemporary artists from across the country.

The sculptures contain no plastics or toxic materials and are 100 percent safe for animals to take refuge in.

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