Project Title: Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary Deep-Sea Coral Investigations
Goal or Purpose

To analyze imagery obtained by Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) in order to document and understand the biological components of deep-sea coral communities in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Anticipated Management Application(s)

This project aided the FGBNMS with their management review process, contributing to the proposed boundary expansion efforts. In addition, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), will use the information generated from this project, in conjunction with previous similar projects, in a re-evaluation of their designated No Activity Zones (NAZs).

Fiscal Funding:
  • FY 2009 @ $15,000

 
Region(s):
  • Gulf of Mexico Council
Location(s):
  • Northwestern Gulf of Mexico
A species of soft coral, Bathyalcyon robustum, Versluys, 1906, observed during the DFH13 ROV cruise. No ‘true’ soft corals were thought to occur within the Sanctuary boundaries until ROV exploration began in 2001. Credit: FGBNMS/NURC-UNCW
Project Type:
  • Data Mining
Point of Contact: Office of the Point of Contact:
  • NOS FGBNMS
Team Members:
  • Marissa Nuttall, Marissa.Nuttall@noaa.gov
Project Title: Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary Deep-Sea Coral Investigations
Methods/Approach

Local species identification guides generated by the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS) were used to inventory images taken during the 13th Deep Fish Habitat Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Cruise to reefs and banks in the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico. A database of 536 high-resolution digital still images was created and each image was inventoried for its biological components and zonation. A selection of this information was then added to the FGBNMS interactive mapping tool, providing geo-referenced ROV dive tracks and images.

Project Results and Management Outcomes

The geo-referenced photo-log with species identifications and habitat descriptions was created for the images obtained during this ROV cruise. In addition, an interactive mapping tool displaying this information for research and public information was designed. This database and marine spatial planning map tool are dynamic, and will continuously be updated as additional information is obtained.

Project Title: Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary Deep-Sea Coral Investigations
Internal References:
  •  None Defined
 
Backlinks:
  •  None Defined

FY09_06_image.jpg
A species of soft coral, Bathyalcyon robustum, Versluys, 1906, observed during the DFH13 ROV cruise. No ‘true’ soft corals were thought to occur within the Sanctuary boundaries until ROV exploration began in 2001. Credit: FGBNMS/NURC-UNCW