NOAA’s Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary Seeks Applicants for Advisory Council Seats  

July 30, 2008

NOAA’s Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary is seeking to fill four seats and four alternate positions on its advisory council, which ensures public participation in sanctuary management and provides advice to the sanctuary superintendent.

The sanctuary is accepting applications for the following advisory council seats: diving operations, recreational fishing, research and conservation. One primary member and one alternate will be selected for each seat. Alternates attend meetings when members are not available, but are encouraged to attend all other meetings and participate in all council activities.

The Flower Garden Banks Sanctuary Advisory Council consists of 11 members, including eight voting seats representing recreational diving, diving operations, oil and gas production, recreational fishing, commercial fishing, research, education, and conservation, and three non-voting seats representing the Minerals Management Service, U.S. Coast Guard and NOAA Fisheries.

Applicants will be chosen based on their expertise and experience in relation to the seat for which they are applying. Consideration includes knowledge of sanctuary resources, community and professional affiliations, residency in the sanctuary area, and views regarding the protection and management of marine resources. Applicants who are chosen as members should expect to serve three-year terms. The council usually meets at least quarterly throughout the year. Current seat holders may re-apply.

Applications are due by Sept. 12, 2008. To receive an application kit, or for further information please contact Jennifer Morgan at 409-621-5151, ext. 103 or by writing to: Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, 4700 Avenue U, Bldg. 216, Galveston, TX 77551. Application packages are also available for download on the sanctuary web site, Completed applications should be mailed to the above address.

Located in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico, Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary includes three separate areas: East Flower Garden, West Flower Garden and Stetson banks. The sanctuary, designated Jan. 17, 1992, harbors the northernmost coral reefs in the continental United States and serves as a regional reservoir of shallow-water reef fishes and invertebrates.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.