From June 19-23, researchers from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science will lead a research cruise in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary in the Gulf of Mexico. The cruise is the seventh of eight planned that will result in the most comprehensive spatial assessment of fish and benthic communities within the sanctuary to date.
These cruises employ remotely operated vehicles, which collect information in the deep waters of the sanctuary, while scuba divers conduct surveys in the shallower portions. This project will be complete this fall with data products and a final report of findings expected in December 2012.
The project is being conducted with federal and academic partners including NOAA's Cooperative Institute for Ocean Exploration, Research & Technology and National Marine Fisheries Service as well as the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and Texas A&M University.