Threespot damselfish in Flower Garden in the Gulf of Mexico

Threespot damselfish in Flower Garden in the Gulf of Mexico Stock Photo

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Amar and Isabelle Guillen - Guillen Photo LLC / Alamy Stock Photo

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65.2 MB (2.3 MB Compressed download)


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5847 x 3900 px | 49.5 x 33 cm | 19.5 x 13 inches | 300dpi


Gulf of Mexico, Off Texas, USA, North America

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The Flower Garden Banks NMS is one of 14 federally designated underwater areas protected by NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary Program. Located 70 to 115 miles off the coasts of Texas and Louisiana, these underwater communities rise from the depths of the Gulf of Mexico atop underwater mountains called salt domes. The sanctuary actually protects three separate areas: East Flower Garden Bank, West Flower Garden Bank and Stetson Bank. These banks are separated from each other by miles of open ocean ranging from 200 to 400 feet (61-122 meters) deep, and each bank has its own set of boundaries. The Flower Garden Banks were discovered by snapper and grouper fishermen in the late 1800's. They named the banks after the brightly colored sponges, plants, and other marine life they sometimes snagged and brought to the surface. Continued interest in the biological diversity and breathtaking beauty of the reefs at East and West Flower Garden Banks led to their designation as a sanctuary under the National Marine Sanctuary Act (NMSA) in 1992.

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