Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary

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a - Legal and policy framework (attach in Annex a copy of original texts, and indicate, if possible, the IUCN status)

National status of your protected area:

The Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary was established using the
authority of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act:

IUCN status (please tick the appropriate column if you know the IUCN category of your PA):


b - Management structure, authority

The Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary is managed within the Southeast Region of Office of National Marine Sanctuaries of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations within the United States Department of Commerce.

c - Functional management body (with the authority and means to implement the framework)

Description of the management authority

Management advice of the Sanctuary Advisory Council composed of local and regional stakeholders.

Means to implement the framework

Staff of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary office in Galveston, Texas

d - Objectives (clarify whether prioritized or of equal importance)

Objective Top priority Comment
Goal 1: Protect, maintain and, where appropriate, restore and enhance the resources and qualities of Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary and the ecosystem that supports it. No 1A: Prioritize resource protection in management decisions. 1B: Develop and integrate best practices, scientific information, and innovative management techniques. 1C: Reduce threats to sanctuary resources. 1D: Enhance compliance with and enforcement of sanctuary regulations. 1E: Improve ability to conduct emergency response and damage assessment.
Goal 2: Support, promote, and coordinate characterization, research, and monitoring of FGBNMS and the regional environment to inform conservation and protection. No 2A: Improve characterization of the physical, chemical, biological and human environment of the sanctuary. 2B: Enhance research necessary for effective management and protection of sanctuary resources. 2C: Monitor and assess long-term environmental changes in the sanctuary. 2D: Evaluate environmental impacts that could result from changes in human activities or environmental conditions.
Goal 3: Enhance and foster public awareness, understanding, appreciation, and stewardship of FGBNMS and the regional marine environment. No 3A: Broaden public awareness of the sanctuary and the regional marine environment by reaching out to new audiences. 3B: Improve understanding of the sanctuary and its resource protection issues through the interpretation and dissemination of information on sanctuary science and management. 3C: Increase public appreciation, support and stewardship of the sanctuary, including the active participation of volunteers.
Goal 4: Manage and facilitate multiple sustainable uses of FGBNMS compatible with the primary purpose of resource protection. No 4A: Minimize potential user conflicts. 4B: Explore innovative management techniques, such as marine zoning, to achieve the mission of protecting sanctuary resources. 4C: Improve understanding of human activities and their potential impacts, direct and cumulative, to sanctuary resources and the regional environment.
Goal 5: Promote and coordinate partnerships with stakeholders, agencies, and organizations. No 5A: Coordinate the development and implementation of policies, regulations, procedures, and permitting activities. 5B: Enhance opportunities for stakeholder and public involvement in sanctuary activities, especially through the sanctuary advisory council process. 5C: Facilitate the exchange of scientific information, technical knowledge, and innovative management strategies. 5D: Improve collaboration and coordination with partners to increase public awareness, understanding and stewardship of the sanctuary.
Goal 6: Promote ecosystem-based management of the FGBNMS regional environment. No 6A: Improve understanding of how sanctuary resources are connected to other areas through ecosystem processes. 6B: Improve understanding of other threatened areas in the FGBNMS regional environment that may be nationally significant. 6C: Evaluate and implement management actions that enhance ecosystembased management.
Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary’s Mission is to identify, protect, conserve and enhance the natural and cultural resources, values, and qualities of Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary and its regional environment for this and future generations.

e - Brief description of management plan (attach in Annex a copy of the plan)

The sanctuary’s original management plan is a comprehensive approach to resource protection and management. It includes programs for science, education, outreach, regulation, enforcement, permitting and coordination with other local, state and federal agencies:


In April 2012 an updated Management Plan was released based on a comprehensive public review of sanctuary management strategies and activities that is required by the National Marine Sanctuaries Act and modifies and adds certain regulations and programs based on current conservation issues:


Management plan - date of publication

: 4/1/12

Management plan duration

: not specified

Date of Review planned

: not specified