Ledges of biodiversity

The ledges of Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary are covered with marine organisms. Because they are so colorful and dynamic, it might be easy to assume that the ledges are where all the marine life can be found in the sanctuary. However, while the sand around the ledges may look desolate, it is actually brimming with life! The sandy substrates comprise the majority of the sanctuary's seascape and support a highly diverse and abundant community of hidden organisms like worms, crabs, shrimp, sea stars, snails, and slugs. These are an important food source for the fish in Gray's Reef, who venture off the ledges to feed in the sand.