school of fish behind title Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary
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Close up view of Christmas tree worms protruding from a coral head

Welcome to a very special place...

Picture yourself over 100 miles from land, in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. At times, the seas can be very unforgiving, and the weather can turn foul in an instant. But here, in the midst of this unpredictable Gulf, lie three of the most beautiful and wild places in all the world. Manta rays, whale sharks, coral heads bigger than cars, hundreds of species of fish and invertebrates... This place teems with life!

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Three More Sanctuary Corals Listed

Orbicella franksi, Orbicella annularis, and Orbicella franksi images with a note that these are now listed under the Endangered Species List

In response to a request to list 66 species of coral under the Endangered Species Act, NOAA conducted an in-depth evaluation of each species and determined that 20 of those species should be listed as threatened. This is in addition to the original two Acropora species listed in 2006.

Among those listed are three species of star coral that are prevalent on the Flower Garden Banks reefs.

NOAA Feature Story

Accepting Advisory Council Applications

SAC members sitting at a table during meeting discussionsWe are currently accepting applications for four primary seats on our Advisory Council, a group that ensures public participation in sanctuary management and provides advice to the sanctuary superintendent.

The sanctuary is accepting applications for the following open seats: recreational diving, commercial fishing and diving operations (two seats). 

Click here for more information and an application.

Applications are due by September 30, 2014

Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary
4700 Avenue U, Building 216
Galveston, TX 77551
p) 409-621-5151
f) 409-621-1316

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French angelfish in foreground; large boulder corals in background.  French angelfish is dinner plate size oval shaped, blue body with body scales bright yellow on their edges.
National Marine Sanctuary logo - a stylized whale tail above waves