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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Sanctuary Seeks Input on Expansion

Sanctuary Expansion Proposal Map
Advisory Council recommendation for sanctuary expansion
(click on map to see larger image)

In February, NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries announced that it is gathering information and requesting public comments for possible expansion of Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. The deadline for official comments on sanctuary expansion is April 6, 2015.

More information

Frequently Asked Questions about Sanctuary Expansion

Comments may be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal:

Link to Federal eRulemaking Portal to submit comments

Or by mail to:

George Schmahl, Superintendent
Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary
4700 Avenue U, Building 216
Galveston, TX 77551

Three scoping meetings are planned for the public to learn more about the proposal and submit comments.

March 3 - Hilton New Orleans Airport
Kenner, LA, 6-8 p.m.

March 5 - Bayland Community Center
Houston, TX, 6-8 p.m.

March 11 - Flower Garden Banks NMS Office
Galveston, TX, 6-8 p.m.

Federal Register Notice

Press Release (197kb pdf)

Ocean Discovery Day - March 14thAdvisory council  members in meeting

Come enjoy hands-on activities that illustrate real science, see the sea turtles in the grow-out facility, learn how dolphins are rescued, talk to the scientists, educators, law enforcement officers, and managers responsible for the many services NOAA provides in this part of the Gulf.

Saturday, March 14th
9 a.m.-3 p.m.
4700 Avenue U, Galveston

Ocean Discovery Day Flyer

More Information...

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

Two-toned blue dashed line

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