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Research Publications/Chronology

EAST AND WEST BANK MONITORING

The earliest quantitative data on coral and other invertebrate cover at the Flower Garden Banks was collected in 1972 in 27 quadrants, each measuring approximately 12 square meters (Bright and Pequegnat, 1974).

The first regularly collected data on benthic communities occurred in 1978 (Viada, 1980) and continued through 1983 (CSA, 1985). This work was prompted by the drilling activities of Mobil Exploration and Producing U.S., Inc., within 1.7 km of the coral reefs at East Flower Garden Bank.

Diver photographing a monitoring station on the reef. Transect lines run across the reef on either side of the diver.

Minerals Management Service (MMS), now known as Bureau of Offshore Energy Managemen (BOEM), required that industry sponsor the monitoring program as well as pre- and post-drilling surveys to evaluate the fate and effects of their discharges on the sensitive biological assemblages inhabiting the nearby banks. This involved chemical analysis of sediments taken from the vicinity of the platforms but did not involve biological collections from either of the banks.

Following the completion of the study by CSA in 1983, no new activity was proposed so no further benthic monitoring was conducted at the Flower Garden Banks for nearly 6 years.

A diver surveying a section of reef using a quadrat.

In consultation with academia and industry, MMS developed a comprehensive benthic monitoring program for the Flower Garden Banks in the late 1980's. This Long-Term Monitoring program remained in place, with some modifications, from 1988 through 2008.

With the arrival of R/V Manta, a state-of-the-art research vessel, in 2008, it was decided that the sanctuary now had the capabilities to take on the Long-Term Monitoring program itself. In August 2009, the sanctuary completed its first data collection efforts at East and West Flower Garden Banks.

For more information on the use of repetitive photo stations in our monitoring efforts, please visit our Stetson Monitoring page.

Click here to learn more about the 2010 East/West Monitoring Expedition.

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MMS/BOEM Reports

For detailed reports on the East and West Bank Long-Term Monitoring efforts, as well as many other interesting reports about the Gulf of Mexico region, you can visit the following Bureau of Offshore Energy Management (BOEM) website.

A complete listing of those reports that pertain specifically to Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary can be found below.

2010

2010-052 Long-Term Monitoring at the East and West Flower Garden Banks: 2004-2008 - Volume I: Technical Report
2010-053 Long-Term Monitoring at the East and West Flower Garden Banks: 2004-2008 - Volume II: Appendices

2009

MMS 2009-032 Post-Hurricane Assessment of Sensitive Habitats of the Flower Garden Banks Vicinity

2008

MMS 2008-027 Long-Term Monitoring at the East and West Flower Garden Banks 2004-2005 -- Interim Report - Volume I: Technical Report
MMS 2008-028 Long-Term Monitoring at the East and West Flower Garden Banks 2004-2005 -- Interim Report - Volume II: Appendices
MMS 2008-019 Post-Hurricane Assessment at the East Flower Garden Bank Long-Term Monitoring Site: November 2005

2006

MMS 2006-035 Long-Term Monitoring at the East and West Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, 2002-2003
MMS 2006-037 Effect of Depth, Location, and Habitat Type, on Relative Abundance and Species Composition of Fishes Associated with Petroleum Platforms and Sonnier Bank in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

2003

MMS 2003-031 Long-term Monitoring of the East and West Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, 2000-2001

2001

MMS 2001-101 Long-term Monitoring at the East and West Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary 1998-1999

1999

MMS 99-0005 Long-Term Monitoring of the East and West Flower Garden Banks, 1996-1997

1996

MMS 96-0046 Long-Term Monitoring at the East and West Flower Garden Banks

1992

ESS 1992-1 Hydrographic Observations from a Gas Production Platform: High Island Addition Mobile 389 (22 Aug - 10 Sep 91) (Technical Report 91-06T)
MMS 92-0026 Mississippi-Alabama Shelf Pinnacle Trend Habitat Mapping Study

1985

MMS 85-0024 The Flower Gardens: A Compendium of Information

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1983

ESS-1983-1 Reefs and Banks of the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico: Their Geological, Biological, and Physical Dynamics,
Final Report
ESS-1983-20 Reefs and Banks of the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico: Their Geological, Biological, and Physical Dynamics,
Executive Summary

1982

ESS-1982-3 Environmental Studies at the Flower Gardens and Selected Banks: Northwestern Gulf of Mexico, 1979-1981, Executive Summary
ESS-1982-20 Environmental Studies at the Flower Gardens and Selected Banks: Northwestern Gulf of Mexico, 1979-1981, Final Report
ESS-1982-19 Northern Gulf of Mexico Topographic Features Study, Hydrographic Data Report
ESS-1982-22 Mississippi Deltaic Plain Region Ecological Characterization: An Ecological Atlas, Map Narratives
ESS-1982-36 Study of the Effect of Oil and Gas Activities on Reef Fish Populations in the Gulf of Mexico OCS Area, Executive Summary
ESS-1982-40 Study of the Effect of Oil and Gas Activities on Reef Fish Populations in the Gulf of Mexico OCS Area, Final Report

1981

ESS 1981-18 Northern Gulf of Mexico Topographic Features Study, Executive Summary
Unnumbered Northern Gulf of Mexico Topographic Features Study, Volume 1
ESS 1981-19 Northern Gulf of Mexico Topographic Features Study, Volume 2
ESS 1981-20 Northern Gulf of Mexico Topographic Features Study, Volume 3
ESS 1981-21Northern Gulf of Mexico Topographic Features Study, Volume 4
ESS 1981-22 Northern Gulf of Mexico Topographic Features Study, Volume 5

1978

ESS 1978-2 Fauna of Shelf-Edge Submarine Banks in the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico
ESS 1978-4 Northwestern Gulf of Mexico Topographic Features Study, Final Report

1976

ESS 1976-2 A Biological and Geological Reconnaissance of Selected Topographical Features on the Texas Continental Shelf, Final Report

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Orange, branching gorgonian (soft coral) anchored in a bed of sponges and other sea life.
   
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