Coral Data & Publications
Record 7 of 71 for Flower Garden Banks region search.
||Biogeographic Assessment to Support Management of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary
||"The Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGNMS) is located in the northwest Gulf of Mexico, about 97 nautical miles southeast of Galveston, Texas. One of the most pristine coral reefs in the tropical western Atlantic, the Sanctuary's coral community supports a high abundance of coral reef fishes and associated marine organisms. Currently, the Sanctuary is evaluating its management plan to better understand impacts to climate change, oil spill response, fishing, and other anthropogenic factors. In order to understand if the sanctuaries resources are changing as a response to a stressor, the baseline is necessary to be able to quantify that change. Fish and benthic community data collection began in 2006. Community data is being collected by four methods: visual SCUBA surveys (shallow 20-33 m; moderate depth 33-50 m via technical SCUBA), remotely operated vehicles (ROV) at depths of 50-140 m; hydroacoustics (all depth ranges). Each sampling method will be implemented annually over the span of three years (2010-2012). Data will be analyzed to determine the location of the research area and the appropriate biological metrics to monitor following the implementation of the research area. To date, we have developed a sampling design, a biogeographic characterization report, and a sampling design tool for ArcGIS; we have conducted two ROV cruises and two shallow SCUBA cruises (2010-2011), one technical SCUBA cruise (2011); hydroacoustic fish surveys have been collected on all those cruises. "