Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary

Quick Facts

Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary

Texas

(979) 846-5942

Map

Things To Do

     

Overview

The wonderful biological diversity and breathtaking beauty of the Flower Garden Banks prompted researchers and recreational divers to seek protection for this area. In the 1970's they launched what would become a 20 year effort, culminating in 1992, to designate the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.

In October, 1996, Congress expanded the Sanctuary by adding a small third bank. Stetson Bank is also a salt dome, located about 70 miles south of Galveston, Texas. Because of its location, average temperatures during the winter are several degrees cooler than at the Flower Gardens. Consequently, the corals do not thrive and build into reefs. Instead, this bank supports a coral/sponge habitat and rich assemblages of associated animals and plants where the siltstone bedrock can still be seen in many places.

Diving and fishing can be enjoyed by visitors to the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.

Map of Flower Garden Banks Nat'l Marine Sanctuary

Latitude, Longitude: 29.288794, -94.809265

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Activities

  • Boating

    There are only two ways to get out to the Flower Garden Banks sanctuary either by Coast Guard jet or by boat. There are several commercial dive and fishing charter operators that take people out to the sanctuary and surrounding oil and gas platforms. However, if heading out on a private boat, be aware of the sanctuary boundaries, mooring buoy coordinates, sanctuary regulations and reef etiquette.

  • Fishing

    Within 10 miles of the sanctuary, popular fish species include marbled grouper, hogfish, blackfin snapper, dog snapper, and yellowfin grouper.

  • Water Sports

    There are several commercial dive and fishing charter operators that take people out to the sanctuary and surrounding oil and gas platforms. Most dive professionals consider Flower Garden and Stetson Banks to be intermediate to advanced dive sites. Wave height and frequency are also quite variable and can make it difficult to reboard the boat safely. Previous saltwater experience is strongly recommended before diving in the sanctuary.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(979) 846-5942

Links