school of fish behind title Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary
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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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Proposed Sanctuary Expansion

Proposed Sanctuary Expansion written over image of bright orange gorgnians. Links to Proposed Sanctuary Expansion page.

NOAA’s Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary is proposing to expand its boundaries to protect additional critical habitat in the Gulf of Mexico.

Learn More about the EXPANSION PROPOSAL

Cover image of Draft Environmental Impact StatementThe Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) lays out five alternatives for expansion. In the preferred alternative, the sanctuary would expand to 383 square miles and include 15 additional reefs and banks.

The public is invited to comment on this proposal from June 10-August 19, 2016. Those comments will be used to develop a final environmental impact statement.

SUBMIT COMMENTS on Expansion Proposal

A public meeting of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council's Boundary Expansion Subcomittee will take place on Thursday, July 28, 2016, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the sanctuary offices located at 4700 Avenue U, Building 216, Galveston. Sanctuary Advisory Council (SAC) members of this subcommittee will be meeting to review and discuss the sanctuary's proposal for boundary expansion as detailed in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Public comment will be accepted. For more information contact

Public Meeting Schedule

Sanctuaries Volunteer of the Year!

Scott Hickman speaking after being awarded the Sanctuaries Volunteer of the Year award at CHOW 2016.

Image: Clint Moore

Last week, during Capitol Hill Ocean Week festivities, Captain Scott Hickman, a volunteer at Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, was honored as the Sanctuaries Volunteer of the Year.

He was recognized for his work in strengthening the relationship between the recreational fishing community and the National Marine Sanctuary System and his advocacy on behalf of protecting the resources and habitats of the Gulf of Mexico to policymakers.

Learn more about Scott and his sanctuary involvement.

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.
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