The 14 additional reefs and banks are officially part of Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS). As of March 22, 2021, FGBNMS encompasses 17 reefs and banks located approximately 80-125 miles off the coasts of Texas and Louisiana. These banks are a combination of small underwater mountains, ridges, troughs, and hard-bottom patches.
The habitats associated with these banks range from thriving shallow water coral reefs and algal-sponge communities, to deeper mesophotic reefs alive with black corals, algal nodules, and octocorals. Although each bank is marked with its own separate boundaries, together these banks create a chain of protected habitats for ecologically and economically important species across the northwestern Gulf of Mexico.
All rules and regulations that applied to our previous three banks now apply to all of the new areas as well.
Be sure to check out the expanded sanctuary Story Map on our website home page. You can learn about each of the banks and see what kind of infrastructure is located nearby.