On January 19, 2021, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued the Final Rule for the expansion of Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. 

The expansion protects 14 additional reefs and banks, slightly adjusts the boundaries of the sanctuary’s original three banks, and expands the sanctuary from 56 square miles to a total of 160 square miles.

National Marine Sanctuaries Map
Courtesy of NOAA ONMS

The final rule applies existing sanctuary regulations to all of the new areas— providing protection from the destructive impact of activities related to fishing with bottom-tending gear, ship anchoring, oil and gas exploration and production, and salvage activities on sensitive biological resources.

This is a huge step for the world of recreational angling, and for environmental health in general. These new conservation zones will provide value for years to come.

See here for more info. See here for the official final rule.

The information included in this article comes from the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries’ Website.

Article by Flylords Content Team Member Andrew Braker.

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