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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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)

Advisory Council Accepting ApplicationsAdvisory council  members in meeting

The Sanctuary Advisory Council is recruiting applicants for five (5) seats that are about to expire: Education, Research, Oil & Gas Operations, Recreational Diving, and Recreational Fishing.

If you are interested in representing one of these sanctuary user groups, please submit an application by close of business on Tuesday, March 31, 2015.

Information and Application Materials

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

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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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