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Management Plan Review     2012 Management Plan
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Cover image of 2012 Management PlanThe action plans within the 2012 Management Plan are collections of issue-oriented strategies and activities specific to the needs of Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS). 

Each action plan identifies the strategies necessary for implementation, along with a description of the types of activities that might be undertaken and any requirements needed to accomplish these activities.

The success of each action plan will be evaluated through a set of performance measures included within each plan.

Download Action Plans Introduction (120kb pdf)

Sanctuary Expansion Action Plan

Sanctuary goals and objectives stress the importance of ecosystem-based management of the sanctuary's regional environment. 

This action plan recommends a process to protect and manage additional sensitive habitat in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico, allowing for the protection of unique geological and biological features of the region that may be ecologically linked to one another. 

The plan’s one strategy describes the process necessary to evaluate areas for inclusion in the sanctuary and to implement the expansion as appropriate.  The Sanctuary Advisory Council’s recommendation is outlined in this action plan.

Bathymetric map showing East Flower Garden Bank, MacNeil Bank, Ranking Bank, and 28 Fathom Bank.  Connectivity between the banks is evident in the topographic features shown.

For more information about how the Sanctuary Advisory Council addressed the issue of sanctuary expansion and the workshops that were held, please visit our 2007 Sanctuary Expansion Recommendation page.

Learn more about Reefs and Banks of the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico

Download Sanctuary Expansion Action Plan chapter (307kb pdf)

Education and Outreach Action Plan

This action plan has five strategies and associated activities that focus on using education and outreach to enhance effective management of the sanctuary. 

The activities describe plans for developing programs to address specific management needs and target audiences, increasing general public awareness and knowledge of the sanctuary, building internal processes and capabilities, and cultivating relationships and networks. 

The plan emphasizes the use of technology, volunteers, partnerships, and programs for both stakeholders and educators to accomplish the strategies within this action plan.

A father and daughter visiting the sanctuary's exhibit at Texas Parks & Wildlife Expo

Learn more about current Education and Outreach activities

Download Education and Outreach Action Plan chapter (203kb pdf)

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Research and Monitoring Action Plan

This action plan has six strategies and associated activities to guide research and monitoring efforts at the sanctuary, and throughout the region. These are designed to aid in management and protection of sanctuary resources and the reefs and banks of the northwestern Gulf of Mexico that are ecologically connected to the sanctuary.

Strategies focus on investigating ecosystem processes, characterizing sanctuary resources, enhancing current monitoring programs, and addressing threats such as marine debris and invasive species. 

This action plan also proposes taking steps to consider establishing a public process to evaluate and provide recommendations for the establishment of research control areas within the sanctuary to investigate the potential impacts of fishing and diving.

A variety of white, red, orange, pink, green, and brown soft corals in a deep area of the sanctuary with numerous butterflyfish swimming  through

Learn more about Research in the Sanctuary

Learn more about Monitoring in the Sanctuary

Download Research and Monitoring Action Plan chapter (437kb pdf)

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Resource Protection Action Plan

This action plan has two strategies and associated activities to protect sanctuary resources from various threats and address sanctuary enforcement issues. 

The activities proposed regulations to protect rays and Whale Sharks and further protect sanctuary resources from pollutant discharge.  These revised regulations were released in conjunction with the 2012 Management Plan. Other activities recommend steps for further evaluation of threats such as inappropriate fishing gear and climate change.

Alumninum hull research vessel underway.
Photo Credit: All American Marine

Learn more about R/V Manta

Learn more about Sanctuary Regulations

Learn more about Spearfishing Research (207kb pdf)

Download Resource Protection Action Plan chapter (230kb pdf)

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Visitor Use Action Plan

This action plan has three strategies and associated activities to foster safe and compatible human uses.

The plan’s activities focus on methods for gaining increased information about sanctuary visitors and their activities in order to more effectively manage the resource.  Additional activities revise regulations or recommend guidelines for use of dive flags and mooring buoys.

People fishing from a boat in the santuary.

Download Visitor Use Action Plan chapter (278kb pdf)

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Operations and Administration Action Plan

This action plan outlines two strategies and associated activities to build the additional capacity needed for the sanctuary to meet staffing, infrastructure support, and program implementation needs.  Emphasis is placed on the physical infrastructure and financial resource requirements of the site.

Mission style building that houses sanctuary offices.

Download Operations and Administration Action Plan chapter (301kb pdf)

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weather report observations cool stuff get wet

Gray-green tube sponge cluster in foreground.  Algae covered rocks in background.  Tubes range from 5-20 inches tall and about 1 to 3 inches across.
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