Download Recommendations for All Condition Reports: Because of occasional download conflicts with web browsers, we recommend that you download these pdf files to your desktop by right-clicking on the link for PC users and click and hold for Macintosh users. Then open them using Acrobat.
Flower Garden Banks Condition Report (2.3 MB)
Flower Garden Banks Condition Report (High Resolution - 21.4 MB)
In September 2008, the eye of Hurricane Ike passed directly over East Flower Garden Bank en route to Galveston, TX. Although this was rated a Category 2 storm according to wind speed, it's enormous size caused it to move water like a Category 4 storm.
In October 2008 sanctuary staff conducted a "quick look" assessment of the reefs. What they saw was reminiscent of the aftermath of Hurricane Rita in 2005. Some boulders of coral up to four meters across had been torn loose from the reef and tossed about, sometimes landing more than 25 feet away. Others had been toppled in place. As much as three feet of sand was scoured away from coral formations along the sand flats, then piled deeper in other areas. Several mooring buoys were also gone.
This and future assessments following Hurricane Ike are not included in the 2008 Condition Report. For more information and photos of Hurricane Ike's reef impacts, visit the 2008 Post-Ike Reef Assessment expedition page or read this summary (3.2 MB).