Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary


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Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary

Address:4700 Ave U, Bldg 216
Galveston, TX 77551

Phone:409-621-5151
Fax:409-621-1316
Web: flowergarden.noaa.gov
Location:The Sanctuary is comprised of the East Flower Garden Bank, the West Flower Garden Bank, and Stetson Bank. The Flower Garden Banks are located 105 miles south of the Texas/Louisiana border and Stetson Bank is 70 miles south of Galveston, Texas.
Activities:Diving and recreational fishing.
Special Features:Each August, the eighth day after the full moon, the waters of the Flower Garden Banks are engulfed in white as the coral reefs begin spawning. Coral spawning was rarely seen before 1990, when it occurred in the Flower Garden Banks. Due in part to this phenomenal occurrence, Scuba Diving magazine has ranked it among the top ten overall dive destinations in North America. Description:Description: The northernmost coral reef in the continental United States, the Flower Garden Banks sit atop two salt domes rising above the ocean floor. The coral reefs ascend to within 66 feet of the ocean's surface. Including all three banks, the sanctuary encompasses approximately 49 square miles. Twenty-one species of coral are found in the sanctuary and more than 80 species of algae provide food for the marine animals, including more than 200 species of fish. Within the East Flower Garden Bank is the only known oceanic brine seep location in continental shelf waters. Unlike the coral development of the East and West Flower Garden Banks, the corals found in Stetson Bank do not build reefs. Stetson Bank supports a coral and sponge habitat. Facilities:Exhibit at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans. Common Species: Manta ray, barracuda, whale shark, scalloped hammerhead shark, loggerhead, hawksbill, and leatherback turtles, and the golden smooth trunkfish. Environmental Issues: Vessel anchoring, oil and gas development, and the impact of increased recreational diving. Habitats: Brine seep, coral reef, and sponge habitats. Access: The Sanctuary is only accessible by boat. With favorable weather conditions it takes seven to eight hours to reach the Flower Garden Banks.
Year Designated: 1992.

See other parks in Texas.
References in periodicals archive ?
NOAA s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries is soliciting public and stakeholder comment on a recommendation to modify the current boundaries of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary in the northern Gulf of Mexico.
Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary contains some of the most spectacular marine resources in the northern Gulf of Mexico, including some of the healthiest coral reef communities in the entire Caribbean and western Atlantic region, said George P.
This sea floor of the Gulf exhibit is unique among aquariums and mimics the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary in the Gulf of Mexico, where coral formations unlike any others in the world occur.