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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NOAA06-R460
May 26, 2006

CONTACT:
Jennifer Morgan
Flower Garden Banks Sanctuary
(409) 621-5151 ext. 103

FLOWER GARDEN BANKS SANCTUARY ADVISORY COUNCIL TO HOLD PUBLIC MEETING

The Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council will hold a public meeting via phone conference on May 30, 2006. Members of the public are invited to join the phone conference and provide comment during the public forum period. The sanctuary is managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The public may also join sanctuary staff for the meeting from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the new sanctuary office, which is located at the NOAA Fisheries Laboratory, 4700 Ave. U, Bldg. 216, in Galveston, Texas. To receive more information, request a meeting agenda, or obtain the call-in telephone number, please contact the sanctuary’s office at (979) 846-5942.

The 11-member council consists of eight voting non-governmental members and three non-voting federal government members. The advisory council includes representatives from the recreational diving, oil and gas industry, recreational fishing, commercial fishing, diving operation, 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.

NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary Program seeks to increase the public awareness of America’s 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 encompass more than 150,000 square miles of America’s ocean and Great Lakes natural and cultural resources.

NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, 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 the nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

On the Internet:
NOAA - http://www.noaa.gov
National Ocean Service - http://oceanservice.noaa.gov
National Marine Sanctuary Program - http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov
Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary:
http://flowergarden.noaa.gov


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