NOAA06-R457
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ben Sherman
4/10/06
NOAA News Releases 2006
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Public Affairs

FLOWER GARDEN BANKS NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY
ADVISORY COUNCIL TO HOLD MEETING

The Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council will hold a public meeting on April 21, in Houston, Texas. The meeting will be held at 200 N. Dairy Ashford, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The sanctuary is managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

“Sanctuary advisory council members help us balance protection of our coral reef ecosystem with the concerns of the local community,” said George P. Schmahl, the sanctuary’s manager. “The Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council provides the forum to make a difference.”

All meetings are open to the public, and any persons wishing to comment will be given an opportunity to do so during the public forum period of the meeting. To receive more information, or to request a meeting agenda, please contact the sanctuary’s office at 979-846-5942.

Established in 2005, the 11-member Flower Garden Banks Sanctuary Advisory Council consists of eight voting non-governmental members and three non-voting federal government agency members. The advisory council includes representatives from the recreational diving, diving operation, oil and gas industry, recreational fishing, commercial fishing, research, education and conservation communities.

Located in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico, Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary includes three separate areas, known as East Flower Garden, West Flower Garden, and Stetson Banks. The sanctuary was designated on January 17, 1992. Stetson Bank was added to the sanctuary in 1996. The Flower Garden and Stetson banks harbor the northernmost coral reefs in the continental United States and serve as regional reservoirs of shallow-water reef fishes and invertebrates.

The NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program seeks to increase the public awareness of America’s marine resources and maritime heritage by conducting scientific research, monitoring, exploration and educational programs. Today, the sanctuary program manages 13 national marine sanctuaries and one coral reef ecosystem reserve that together encompass more than 150,000 square miles of America’s ocean and Great Lakes natural and cultural resources

NOAA’s National Ocean Service, which manages the National Marine Sanctuary Program, is dedicated to exploring, understanding, conserving and restoring the nation’s coasts and oceans. It balances environmental protection with economic prosperity in fulfilling its mission of promoting safe navigation, supporting coastal communities, sustaining coastal habitats and mitigating coastal hazards.

NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with our federal partners and 60 countries to develop a global Earth observation network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

On the Web:

NOAA: http://www.noaa.gov

National Ocean Service: http://www.oceanservice.noaa.gov/

National Marine Sanctuary Program: http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov

Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary: http://flowergarden.noaa.gov