Research Cruise to Address Sanctuary Management Issues Interrupted by Hurricane Humberto
National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS) scientists were aboard the NOAA ship NANCY FOSTER when Hurricane Humberto originated just west of their location in the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico. The cruise, in its second season of research, assessed local fish and coral to address sanctuary management issues and enhanced National Marine Sanctuaries benthic habitat maps outlining the distribution of resources. The development of Hurricane Humberto prompted the crew to evade the rising storm by heading directly south, then turning west, then northwest to tuck in behind the storm, and return to port in Galveston on September 13. In spite of the uncooperative weather, the research team was able to complete three days of dive surveys, and three nights of multi-beam sonar surveys in Sanctuary waters and surrounding areas of interest. Daily updates of the cruise from September 10 – 12 are available at http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/missions/2007nancy_foster/welcome.html, and additional project information is available at http://ccma.nos.noaa.gov/ecosystems/sanctuaries/fgb_nms/.