The artificial reef was intended to be the foundation of a new fort for protection of the bay but the world moved on making the fort obsolete before being completed. Bluestone boulders were dropped onto the submerged sandbank forming a horseshoe shaped structure open to the north-east. The central lagoon is 2-3 metres deep and a safe anchorage for small boats.
Now part of the Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park Pope’s Eye is a popular dive site. Its rich habitat supports concentrations of fearless fish and one of the last kelp forests in the bay. It is an important breeding and roosting ground for gannets. Breeding space on the rocks was limited but construction of a platform in 1989 led to a doubling in the number of nesting adults with the bonus of additional interest for divers beneath the surface. Pope’s Eye is one of the few known sites in the world where gannets breed on man made structures.
Australian fur seals probably from the colony at nearby Chinamans Hat are often seen around the area.