Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary

Note: The data were entered in the language of the country of origin (English, French or Spanish) and there is no translation available yet.


f - Clarify if some species/habitats listed in section III are the subject of more management/recovery/protection measures than others


Marine / costal / terrestrial ecosystems Management measures Protection measures Recovery measures Comments/description of measures
Mangroves no no no
Coral no no no
Sea grass beds no no no
Wetlands no no no
Forests no no no
Others no no no



Species from SPAW Annex 2 present in your area Management measures Protection measures Recovery measures Comments/description of measures
Reptiles: Caretta caretta no no no
Reptiles: Eretmochelys imbricata no no no
Birds: Falco peregrinus no no no
Mammals: Mesoplodon europeaus no no no
Mammals: Mesoplodon densirostris no no no
Mammals: Mesoplodon mirus no no no
Mammals: Mesoplodon bidens no no no
Mammals: Stenella attenuata no no no
Mammals: Stenella frontalis no no no
Mammals: Tursiops truncatus no no no
Species from SPAW Annex 3 present in your area Management measures Protection measures Recovery measures Comments/description of measures
Hydrozoa: Milleporidae no no no
Anthozoa : Antipatharia no no no
Anthozoa : Gorgonacea no no no
Anthozoa : Scleractinia no no no
Molluscs: Strombus gigas no no no
Crustaceans: Panulirus argus no no no

g - Describe how the protected area is integrated within the country’s larger planning framework (if applicable)

The Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary is part of the National System of Marine Protected Areas and the Gulf of Mexico Marine Protected Area Network. It is an example of NOAA’s commitment to ocean planning and the US National Ocean Policy.

h - Zoning, if applicable, and the basic regulations applied to the zones (attach in Annex a copy of the zoning map)

Name Basic regulation applied to the zone
Comments, if necessary

While some biological components have specific regulations, and certain fish species are managed under the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Management Act, the sanctuary is managed as an ecosystem. Zoning is not used to manage the sanctuary.

i - Enforcement measures and policies

The sanctuary has published regulations:

Enforcement and surveillance is difficult within the FGBNMS due to the distance from shore and inaccessibility of the site. The sanctuary relies greatly on assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard, NOAA Fisheries and state enforcement agencies for an enforcement presence. Although these agencies have been extremely cooperative, there is very little enforcement activity within the sanctuary at this time.

j - International status and dates of designation (e.g. Biosphere Reserve, Ramsar Site, Significant Bird Area, etc.)

International status Date of designation
Biosphere reserve no
Ramsar site no
Significant bird area no
World heritage site (UNESCO) no
Others: no
Because of the significance of its coral reef, the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary was designated as a 'No Anchoring Area' by the International Maritime Organization in 2001. However, vessels of 100 feet or less may tie up to the existing mooring buoys within the sanctuary on a first come, first served basis.

k - Site’s contribution to local sustainable development measures or related plans

The sanctuary is part of a regional Coastal National Recreation Area that is working to establish sustainable use and development, promote nature recreation opportunities and protections from storm-surge for the upper Texas Coast.

l - Available management resources for the area

Ressources How many/how much Comments/description
Human ressources Permanent staff 13 Staffing consists of a superintendent, administrator, six research staff, two education and outreach coordinators, a management plan and Advisory Council coordinator, a captain and one crewmember for the sanctuary research vessel and numerous volunteers that periodically assist the sanctuary with special events.
Physical ressources Equipments - Extensive administration, education and research equipment; - 1 80 ft research vessel RV Manta; - 3 vehicles.
Infrastructures 1 Sanctuary office
Financial ressources Present sources of funding Annual operating budget is part of the National Marine Sanctuaries allocation within NOAA and authorized by the US Congress. The 2012 allocation for Flower Garden Banks NMS staff and operations was $1.06 million.
Sources expected in the future
Annual budget (USD) 1060000

Conclusion Describe how the management framework outlined above is adequate to achieve the ecological and socio-economic objectives that were established for the site (Guidelines and Criteria Section C/V).

The Flower Gardens Banks National Marine Sanctuary is managed using an “adaptive” management approach to resource protection, wherein threats are addressed when they are identified and understood. Sanctuary management is a structured, iterative process of decision-making, with the aim of reducing uncertainty over time through system monitoring and management plan updates. Sanctuary management is a learning process rather than a predetermined “solution” to an identified problem. The periodic review of the sanctuary’s management plan, including the development of specific action plans to address priority issues, provide a mechanism to adapt management to address the problems at the Flower Garden Banks.