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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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Long-Term Monitoring Reports

A complete listing of the most recent long-term monitoring reports for East and West Flower Garden Banks can be found below.

Looking over the shoulder of a diver taking a monitoring photo of the reef.
Ryan Eckert takes a repetitive photostation image as part of long-term monitoring efforts at East and West Flower Garden Banks. (Image: FGBNMS/Schmahl)

2015

Long-Term Monitoring at East and West Flower Garden Banks: 2013 Annual Report (26MB pdf)

2013 Long-Term Monitoring at East and West Flower Garden Banks summary (1.7MB pdf)

2013

2013-014 Long-Term Monitoring at the East and West Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, 2009–2010; Volume 1: Technical Report (5MB pdf)

2013-015 Long-Term Monitoring at the East and West Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, 2009–2010; Volume2: Appendices (10MB pdf)

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

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
2006 MMS 2006-035 Long-Term Monitoring at the East and West Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, 2002-2003

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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

For older 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.

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