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National Marine Sanctuary Photo gallery

Flower Garden Banks: People and the Sanctuary

Sanctuary staff from left to right: Shelley Du Puy, Education Coordinator; G.P. Schmahl, Sanctuary Manager; Emma Hickerson, Research Coordinator. (photo: Frank and Joyce Burek)

The Coast Guard Air Station in Corpus Christi, Texas, have been working closely with the Flower Gardens office to conduct fly-overs of the Sanctuary on a regular basis. click image for more...(photo: FGBNMS)

Coral reef researchers Carl Beaver and Hector Guittierez secure a rack of tiles to the exposed reef rock. Derek Hagman and Peter Vize, also of the University of Texas, collect coral gametes click image for more... (photo: Ed Enns)

Sanctuary Research Coordinator, Emma Hickerson, videos a juvenile male manta ray (Manta birostris) at one of the Flower Garden Banks. Texas A&M Marine Ecologist, Jeff Childs, click image for more... (photo: Kaile Tsapis)

Over the past 20 years the coral community at the Flower Gardens has been been monitored. A contract between NOAA and MMS (Minerals Management Service) click image for more... (photo: Frank and Joyce Burek)

Repetitive photography stations have been set up on each bank. Photographs at these stations are taken on an annual basis using a t-frame set up such as the one shown in this picture. These images are digitized, thus allowing researchers to measure the click image for more... (photo: Frank and Joyce Burek)

Pins, such as these one, have been placed on the reef, so that repetitive photos may be taken on an annual basis. These images are digitized, thus allowing researchers to measure the growth or regression of the corals, the amount of click image for more... (photo: Frank and Joyce Burek)

Semi-Permeable Membrane Devices (SPMD's) are housed in cages such as shown here, and placed at different depths of the click image for more... (photo: Frank and Joyce Burek)

Some possible threats to the Sanctuary include illegal anchoring, illegal fishing gear, or cable damage. This damage was caused by an unknown source. Sanctuary personnel are learning about how to restore corals like this that have been damaged. (photo: Frank and Joyce Burek)

In the early 1990's, recreational divers were concerned enough to take on the task drilling u-bolts into the reef rock to hold permanent mooring buoys. This is an example of a u-bolt of one of the Flower Garden Banks click image for more... (photo: Frank and Joyce Burek)

Mooring buoy attached to Ubolt. It is illegal to drop anchor onto the reef, unless no Sanctuary resource is harmed. (photo: Frank and Joyce Burek)

Fishing rigs are often caught up on the reef by recreational fishermen. Hook and line fishing is permitted at the Flower Gardens. No spear fishing, or bottom long lining, or trawling is allowed. (photo: Frank and Joyce Burek)

Large juvenile Loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, are the most common sea turtle encountered at the Flower Gardens and Stetson click image for more... (photo: Frank and Joyce Burek)

This animal, Triton, was first captured in June of 1995, then again in June 1996, and finally in February 1997. He was seen showing off his long tail on the surface in October 1998, and click image for more... (photo: Greg Bunch )

Research Coordinator, Emma Hickerson, takes blood from the dorsal sinus - after running lab tests, we are able to determine the sex of the juvenile animal. This animal (Chocolate) turned out to be female. Lower testosterone levels indicate a female. (photo: Frank and Joyce Burek)

The name of this production platform is High Island 389A (HI389A) - meaning that it is located in the High Island lease block. At present the lease is owned by Vastar. The primary click image for more... (photo: Frank and Joyce Burek)

An artificial coral reef is used at events such as SeaSpace (Houston) to educate children about marine life and the marine environment. (photo: Frank and Joyce Burek)

Sanctuary personnel often are asked to give presentation to school children or dive clubs. Here, a group of school children observe a live sea turtle that was brought over to their school by Sanctuary staff. (photo: FGBNMS)

Teachers are important messengers for the Sanctuary. They participate in many activities including an annual workshop and dive trip to learn about Sanctuary resources so they can enhance their classroom curricula. The workshop includes classroom lectures, click image for more... (photo: FGBNMS)

The annual education workshop is sponsored by the Gulf of Mexico Foundation and includes 18 educators. An advanced workshop for alumni of previous workshops is also scheduled for 1999. (photo: FGBNMS)

Participants in the Teacher at Sea Program spend time abourd NOAA research vessels and assist with scientific field work such as dissecting squirrel fish to collect samples for DNA analysis. (photo: FGBNMS)

Students across Houston, TX learned about the Flower Garden Banks while raising $23,000 for radar reflecting buoys. Students demonstrated what they learned on this exhibit at SeaSpace,click image for more(photo: FGBNMS)

Houston student accepts a certificate acknowledging class efforts to raise money for radar reflecting buoys at each of the banks in the Sanctuary. (photo: FGBNMS)

Allen Academy (Bryan, TX) students share with their classmates what they learned during enrichment week. Each grade selected a marine related topic to explore for several weeks. click image for more... (photo: FGBNMS)

Visitors to the San Luis Pass County Park (Galveston, TX) learn about the Sanctuary through live presentations, coral skeleton samples, videos and brochures in the park's visitor center. (photo: FGBNMS)

Participants in the Sea Space Expo, kids attend talks to learn about fish anatomy. Then they design their own fish using a potato as the body and construction paper, other materials as fins, gills, and eyes. (photo: FGBNMS)

Artist Joel Hickerson teaches children from 3 to 83 how to draw in his art class at the annual Sea Space convention in Houston. This session is called "Grouper got big ol' lips!" (photo: FGBNMS)

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