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MOORING BUOYS & BOUNDARIES

The maps shown on this page were created using high-resolution multi-beam bathymetry data manipulated with GIS (Geographic Information System) software.

In addition to illustrating the relative depths and slope of the banks, the images show the sanctuary boundaries and locations of the mooring buoys.

Diagram of sanctuary mooring buoy assembly
Diagram of mooring buoy assembly used in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Credit: FGBNMS/Eckert

The bright red portions of the banks are generally within recreational dive limits. These areas are typically referred to as the reef cap or coral cap.

SANCTUARY BOUNDARIES (NAD83)

Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary actually has three separate boundary areas--one surrounding each of the three banks.

At East and West Flower Garden Banks, sanctuary boundaries closely follow the original No Activity Zone designations set by Minerals Management Service to restrict oil & gas exploration around the coral reefs. This was done in the interest of limiting the impact of sanctuary designation on oil & gas activities in the Gulf of Mexico.

At Stetson Bank, the boundary was set by simply drawing a rectangular area around the bank. We now know that this left important related habitat outside the sanctuary boundary, an issue that we hope to address in our Management Plan Review.

Boundary Shapefiles (8kb zip file)

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East Flower Garden Bank Boundaries

Bathymetric map showing sanctuary boundaries at East Flower Garden Bank.  Depth is indicated by color.
Click on map to see larger image.

 
Point Latitude Longitude
E-1
E-2
E-3
E-4
E-5
E-6
E-7
E-8
E-9
E-10
E-11
27°52'54.84"
27°53'35.80"
27°55'14.61"
27°57'31.68"
27°58'28.63"
27°59'02.38"
27°59'01.47"
27°55'23.35"
27°54'05.02"
27°53'27.68"
27°52'53.04"
93°37'41.84"
93°38'23.90"
93°38'40.89"
93°38'33.81"
93°37'46.67"
93°35'32.29"
93°35'10.23"
93°34'15.32"
93°34'19.42"
93°35'05.54"
93°36'57.77"

 

West Flower Garden Bank Boundaries

Bathymetric map showing sanctuary boundaries at West Flower Garden Bank.  Depth is indicated by color.
Click on map to see larger image.

Point Latitude Longitude
W-1
W-2
W-3
W-4
W-5
W-6
W-7
W-8
W-9
W-10
W-11
W-12
W-13
27°49'11.14"
27°50'13.34"
27°51'13.81"
27°51'33.39"
27°52'50.86"
27°55'01.91"
27°54'59.30"
27°54'36.23"
27°54'15.78"
27°53'36.61"
27°52'58.32"
27°50'41.24"
27°49'11.88"
93°50'45.83"
93°52'11.04"
93°52'52.20"
93°52'51.24"
93°52'25.34"
93°49'44.25"
93°48'38.11"
93°47'10.91"
93°46'49.85"
93°46'51.82"
93°47'15.82"
93°47'22.70"
93°48'43.28"

Stetson Bank Boundaries

Bathymetric map showing sanctuary boundaries at Stetson Bank.  Depth is indicated by color.
Click on map to see larger image.

Point Latitude Longitude
S-1
S-2
S-3
S-4
28°09'31.03"
28°10'10.20"
28°10'07.84"
28°09'28.66"
94°18'31.98"
94°18'30.21"
94°17'23.90"
94°17'25.68"

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MOORING BUOY COORDINATES (NAD83)

Mooring buoys are an important part of our efforts to protect sanctuary resources while still enabling visitor access to the coral reefs. Vessels up to 100 feet in length can tie off to surface buoys instead of dropping anchor on the coral reefs below.

PLEASE NOTE: Buoys are periodically removed for maintenance or disappear during severe storms, so they may not all be there when you are.

In addition, use of mooring buoys is on a first come, first served basis. Please review recommendations in Reef Etiquette.

East Flower Garden Bank Buoys

Bathymetric map showing mooring buoy locations at East Flower Garden Bank.  Depth is indicated by color.  Buoys are marked by numbered octagons.
Click on map to see a larger image.

Buoy Latitude (DDM) Longitude (DDM) Depth
1 27° 54.571 N -93° 35.845 W 64ft/19.5m
2 27° 54.516 N -93° 35.831 W 63ft/19.2m
3 27° 54.444 N -93° 35.955 W 65ft/19.8m
4 27° 54.529 N -93° 35.99 W 61ft/18.6m
5 27° 54.592 N -93° 35.984 W 70ft/21.3m
6 27° 54.645 N -93° 35.95 W 65ft/19.5m
7 27° 54.547 N -93° 35.918 W 63ft/19.2m

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West Flower Garden Bank Buoys

Bathymetric map showing mooring buoy locations at West Flower Garden Bank.  Depth is indicated by color.  Buoys are marked by numbered octagons.
Click on map to see larger image.

Buoy Latitude (DDM) Longitude (DDM) Depth
1 27° 52.578 N -93° 48.907 W 78ft/23.8m
2 27° 52.526 N -93° 48.836 W 80ft/24.4m
3 27° 52.458 N -93° 49.007 W 80ft/24.4m
4 27° 52.506 N -93° 49.006 W 75ft/22.9m
5 27° 52.519 N -93° 48.889 W 68ft/20.7m

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Stetson Bank Buoys

Bathymetric map showing mooring buoy locations at Stetson Bank.  Depth is indicated by color.  Buoys are marked by numbered octagons.
Click on map to see larger image.

Buoy Latitude (DDM) Longitude (DDM) Depth
1 28° 09.931 N -94° 17.861 W 74ft/22.6m
2 28° 09.981 N -94° 17.834 W 78ft/23.8m
3 28° 09.986 N -94° 17.766 W 73ft/22.3m
4 28° 09.888 N -94° 17.895 W 85ft/25.9m
5 28° 09.917 N -94° 17.770 W 79ft/24.1m

 

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Sea spout stretching from a dark cloud down to the sea surface and churning up a section of water.  Looks like a very narrow tornado.
   
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