One Cool Thing: Deep-sea Paradise

Image: National Marine Sanctuaries, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Off the coast of Texas, deep in the Gulf of Mexico, is a hidden wonder and one of the last of its kind. The Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary is home to some of the healthiest remaining coral reefs on the planet, along with underwater mountains known as salt domes and hundreds of species, including whales, sea turtles, mollusks, crustaceans, birds, rays, and fish. Who do we have to thank for this underwater success story? None other than an unlikely coalition of ex-petroleum executives, commercial fishers, and conservationists.

Now, the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation funds economic impact studies and annual scientific cruises in the sanctuary to measure and record reef health and climate change impact. And while the scientists are hard at work, the sanctuary also offers incredible recreation like sport-fishing and diving for ocean adventurers.

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