In early June of 2019, I had the amazing opportunity to go out on the R/V Manta with an excellent group of people (namely NOAA-AOML peeps) to a previously established permanent monitoring site in the Flower Garden Banks, a remote region approximately 90 miles from Galveston, TX. The site is located in the East Bank, and, not only did we survey the benthic, fish, and boring invertebrate (as in bioeroders, not those that are uninteresting!) communities, but we also cored massive coral colonies and deployed loggers to record temperature, pH, settlement, and a variety of other parameters that we will use to assess whether the reef is actually continuing to grow as a living entity (reef accretion) or whether it is slowly disintegrating as a result of climate change and other anthropogenic factors. Actually, NOAA’s FGB website is (surprisingly) awesome and is a great source of information about this special region.
Best of Flower Garden Banks photos