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1,120 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There is a meeting today in Galveston that updates the status of the Flower Garden Banks Marine Santuary status. Closing the gardens is still being discussed. If anyone wants to attend, they are having public comment starting at 1:30pm today. The address is:

Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary
4700 Ave. U, Bldg. 216
Galveston, TX 77551
phone: (409) 621-5151 ext. 103
fax: (409) 621-1316

Attached is the agenda:

Sanctuary Advisory Council Meeting
Wednesday, November 18, 2009, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
FGBNMS Headquarters, 4700 Ave. U., Bldg. 216, Galveston, TX
9:00 AM Welcome & Announcements G.P. Schmahl

9:15 AM Call to Order Larry McKinney
Adoption of Agenda
Approval of Minutes of previous meeting

9:30 AM Sanctuary Update G.P. Schmahl

10:30 AM Draft Management Plan Update Jen Morgan

10:45 AM Presentation/Discussion:
HI389A decommissioning options G.P. Schmahl

11:45 AM Subcommittee Reports:
Charter Revision Clint Moore
Blue Seas/Green Communities Page Williams
Recreational Uses Irby Basco

12:30 PM Working Lunch
Constituent Reports: Frank Burek
Will Heyman

1:30 PM Public Comment Period

1:45 PM Presentation: Budget Review G.P. Schmahl

2:15 PM Adoption of Ocean Acidification Resolution Larry McKinney

2:45 PM Ocean Policy Taskforce Update Larry McKinney

3:15 PM Meeting Comments Larry McKinney
Future meeting agenda topics
Future Meeting dates

3:30 PM New Business

4:00 PM Adjourn


Lifes 2 Short 2 B So Serious All Da Time
4,286 Posts
Speaking of the Flower Gardens, do any of you feel the wahoos are stacked in there yet to make a trip worthwhile if the weather smooths out soon?

The "Im rearing to go if on a weekend " Hog

1,966 Posts

i would like to thank yall for showing up at the FGBSAC meeting today and speaking on behalf of recreational fishing public , well done .

i personally would like to see more get involved as you and your brother have

wish i had more time after the meeting to visit , i will make a point to do in the future . in the mean time if you or any others have questions or if i can help in any manner just give me a call , i would be happy to help , that is what we are there for


6,012 Posts
flower gardens

Was unable to attend as I am in Biloxi for the SKA Nationals, but did attend a Habitat AP meeting a couple of weeks ago where Mr. Schmahl made a presentation on the FGBNMS.

From my understanding, they are looking to expand the sanctuary to a lot of the other sea mounts in the area (see enclosed image). Also, I believe they are considering closing one of the FG Banks to fishing while keeping the other one open - this will allow them to conduct research on the effects of fishing on the 2 structures. Time frame for study was something like 8 years.

Maybe Cowboy or someone else who attended the meeting yesterday could elaborate.

Here's a cool GIS map; http://www.ncddc.noaa.gov/website/google_maps/FGB/mapsFGB.htm

All the best,


sea monkey rancher
18,403 Posts
they already have.......

no spearfishing
no coral take
no anchoring
no live fish collection
no comm. fishing

what more could you ask for......................... seriously ?

no diving ? so what , look how far it is and the user group is very small, even more so now that there is only one comm. dive operation, and it is the only place in TX to enjoy a real live coral reef.

no fishing ? oh please...........wahoo a few months of the year and bottom fishing by a few..........again it is too far for most.

if they want to increase the other seamounts to no anchor sites, fine, and no blasting, boring, or dredging, but that is it.

1,120 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Tom, boundary expansion is one of the main considerations right now. They are looking into adding Bright Bank, Geyer Bank, and Sonier Bank. There will be different options ranging from adding any one to adding all of them to the sanctuary. I am all for protecting these unique areas and think that they should be included in the sanctuary. Adding them to the sanctuary would eliminate ships anchoring on them as well as eliminate the treasure hunting that goes on at Bright Bank. Bright Bank has several large holes that have been blasted in them by treasure hunters looking for the fortunes that legend has it was on a spanish gallion that some people think sank around there. (Can anyone say "Missing Link")
Another think you mentioned and are correct on is a scientific closure. I was at the original meeting maybe a year and a half ago where this was first discussed and the FGMS council brought in a bunch of scientist to discuss. There are several options for the scientific closures as well ranging from a total closure, closing east and stestson and leaving west open, closing west and stetson and leaveing east open, closing only east, and closing only west. This gets deeper in that the closure could be for fishing only or it could be a total closure. The point I brought up to them after the meeting while discussing this with some of the council members is that it does not make sense to close it for scientific reasons when they have had a 5% budget cut and cannot afford to operate Manta there research vessel. If this was done, money should be in place for research. I personally do not think that a scientific closure is warranted due to the accessability and the limmitted amount of usage the Gardens see. They themselves state that it is the most pristine reef systems in the entire Gulf / Caribean and one of the most pristine in the world period.
Lastly, MPA or no take zones are being pushed on them as a couple of the council members stated to me after the meeting although I was told by one of the members during my comment that they are not an option. One of the council members gave a speech and I think every sentence had the word MPA. He stated how other places in the Caribean had put in place MPA's and how great they were and how the reef systems rebounded after they were put in place. I pointed out in my comment that the Gardens do not face the same problems as these tourist locations do due to lack of accessability and besides the reef is in pristine shape. What is it going to rebound to? We should fight to keep no take MPA's from being but in place!

1,120 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
when is the next meeting
It is not posted on their website yet but it was tentativly scheduled for Wednesday, February 24. I think I stated in an earlier post that they held 3 council meetings each year, it is actually quarterly. By the way I am not for any more regulations for recreational use although I do think Bright Bank needs protection from ship anchoring and treasure hunters destructive methods.
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