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Historic Expeditions    Secrets of the Gulf Expedition


The first annual Get Into Your Sanctuary Day was held June 27,2015. Since it's not easy to "Get Into" Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, we hosted our event in the Aquarium at Moody Gardens where we invited guests to pose in front of a sanctuary mural and interact with the sanctuary's Reef on the Road traveling exhibit.

The same day, R/V MANTA took a quick trip offshore to release some rehabilitated Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtles for NOAA Fisheries and test out the new SCS flow-through water analysis equipment. NOTE: All sea turtle activities were conducted under appropriate permits.

Moody Gardens Event

Two women and a small child pose in front of a sanctuary mural. The women are wearing paper scuba masks.
Nine Brownie Girl Scouts pose in their uniforms in front of a sanctuary mural. All are wearing paper scuba masks and one is wearing a red squid hat.
Two young boys wearing paper scuba masks pose in front of a sanctuary mural with a plush shark toy
A man wearing a paper scuba mask and a red squid hat poses in front of the sanctuary mural

Turtle Release

A man and a woman release a sea turtle into the ocean off the back dive platform of a boat
Brett Mayberry and Emma Hickerson release one of the Kemp's Ridleys from the dive platform of R/V MANTA. The turtles were released about 20 miles offshore, beyond the shipping lanes, in about 60 feet of water. (Image: TAMUG/Lindsay Martin)
An underwater view of a sea turtle just released into greenish Gulf of Mexico water
An underwater view of a Kemp's Ridley moments after release about 20 miles offshore. (Image: TAMUG/Lindsay Martin)
A group photo of turtle release participants standing on the lower and upper decks of R/V MANTA once it returned to the dock
This short day trip provided an opportunity for a few volunteers and guests to join our staff aboard R/V MANTA and experience some of the important work NOAA is doing in the Gulf of Mexico. Most of our work involves multiple days at sea, so living space is limited to essential staff and crew only. (Image: FGBNMS/Hickerson)
Three people in life vests posing with a sea turtle on the deck of a boat before it is released
Turtle Staff: Susan Lewis (left) is a volunteer at the NOAA Sea Turtle facility in Galveston. Dr. Joe Flanagan (center) is the veterinarian for the NOAA sea turtles. Joanie Steinhaus (right) is the Associate Campaign Director, Gulf Coast for Turtle Island Restoration Network.
(Image: FGBNMS/DuPuy)

Two people reading information off of a metal tag on a sea turtles flipper while someone nearby writes it down.
Metal tags attached to the sea turtles' flippers help us identify them if they are encountered again. (Image: FGBNMS/DuPuy)

Susan Lewis carrying a Kemp's Ridley turtle to the back of the boat
Susan Lewis carries one of the sea turtles to the back of the boat for another release. (Image: FGBNMS/DuPuy)

weather report observations cool stuff get wet

Juvenile blue tang (fish).  Bright yellow body with irridescent blue marking around eye and at top edge of dorsal fin.
National Marine Sanctuary logo - a stylized whale tail above waves