Reconstructing the Flower Garden Banks from the Inside Out

February 8, 2023

Bill Precht, Director of Marine and Coastal Programs, Dial Cordy and Associates, Inc.

Who knew, that hidden beneath the beautiful reefs we know and love, lay ancient reefs of a different nature? In 2006-2007, while conducting annual long-term monitoring activities at the Flower Garden Banks, researchers discovered remnants of a fossil reef comprised of elkhorn and staghorn corals, species almost non-existent on our reefs today. This discovery has dramatically altered our understanding of reef development at the Flower Garden Banks and the response of coral communities to changing climate through time.