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NOAA, partners discover deep sea coral and sponge banks in Farallones sanctuary – NOS feature story

Newly discovered habitats in NOAA’s Gulf of the Farallones Sanctuary are an underwater melting pot for deep sea corals, sponges, rockfish, and other species.

A partnership of federal and independent scientists found the rocky reef habitats in October in an area with depths reaching 457 meters, where such corals and sponges had not been seen before.

Preliminary findings from a recently completed series of research cruises featuring scientists from the sanctuary, NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, the U.S. Geological Survey, California Academy of Sciences, and Marine Applied Research and Exploration (MARE) include the discovery of many species of sponges and corals including a large black coral on a previously unstudied rocky seafloor bank 40 miles offshore, near the Farallon Islands.

via NOAA, partners discover deep sea coral and sponge banks in Farallones sanctuary – NOS feature story.

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Shorter web link for sharing: http://coastalscience.noaa.gov/news/?p=7889

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