According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary is proposing to expand its boundaries to protect areas of national significance off the coasts of Texas and Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico.
This expansion would add 14 additional coral reefs and 104 square miles of public water.
This is great news considering that reefs are essential to the health of marine ecosystems— providing shelter and nutrients to marine life, supporting the food chain, and providing valuable fish spawning habitat. The area will also contribute to STEM education, tourism, and marine recreation including fishing, diving, and boating.
While this expansion is new, the development of this proposal has been in the works for more than three decades. NOAA took the time to weigh the opinions of all stakeholders and is aiming to strike a balance between environmental protection and economic uses.
NOAA will consider all comments received by July 3, 2020. Check out NOAA’s announcement for more information.
This article was written by Flylords’ Conservation Intern, Andrew Braker.