March 2018 Newsletter

Sea to Shining Sea Newsletter - March 2018

diver photographing the coral reef
A NOAA diver takes photographs of the reef along a transect line with a camera and strobes mounted on aluminum t-frame at the East Flower Garden Bank. The camera setup ensures monitoring photographs are taken at the same height above randomly placed transect lines year after year. Photo: G.P. Schmahl/NOAA

Under a watchful eye, the coral reefs of Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary show signs of resilience

Despite global coral reef decline in recent decades, East Flower Garden Bank and West Flower Garden Bank have long been recognized as some of the healthiest coral reef communities in the world. These areas have suffered minimally from hurricanes, coral bleaching, and disease, while supporting a relatively diverse and abundant populations of marine animals.

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monitor crew on deck
The USS Monitor crew rests on deck. This photo is one of eight photos taken on July 9, 1862, by photographer James F. Gibson. Photo courtesy of Library of Congress

The USS Monitor: A feat of naval ingenuity and the first national marine sanctuary

The story of the USS Monitor, one Civil-War-era vessel that rests in the Graveyard of the Atlantic, juxtaposes a great human accomplishment with the unmatchable power of nature. Monitor was created with such an ingenious design that it ensured John Ericsson’s place in history as one of the best naval engineers of the 19th century. But nature, along with a series of unfortunate circumstances, sealed the destiny of Monitor – but also led to its place in the National Marine Sanctuary System.

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heterochone calyx
This guide documents more than 260 deep-sea corals, sponges, sea stars, fishes, and other organisms that were encountered Photo: NOAA/MBARI

Cataloging the depths of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

What inhabits the depths of the ocean? Even the most popular sanctuaries like Monterey Bay hold mysteries offshore. Twenty-eight miles beyond the California coast lies Sur Ridge, an underwater feature that is home to a wide variety of marine life. Expeditions of the deep regale tales of an underwater oasis and an ecosystem that is absolutely stunning.

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get into your sanctuary
Entangled adult humpback whale with 5 wraps of heavy gauge line wrapped around its tail and trailing hundreds of feet behind. Credit: Verbeck/NOAA MMHSRP (permit # 932-1905-1)

Visit Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

In Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, you can snorkel, dive, paddle, and more -- all while exploring our nation's maritime history. Get into your sanctuary today!

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