Description of gauge:
The Flower Garden Banks coral reefs score 89, meaning most indicators meet reference values.
The scores you see for each region are composite scores for the themes and then one overall score. The overall score is an average of all four theme scores for the Flower Garden Banks region’s coral reef ecosystem score.
Benthic – Composite gauge for benthic theme score in the Flower Garden Banks region is 93%, meaning it is ranked very good with all or almost all indicators meeting reference values.
Fish – Composite gauge for fish theme score in the Flower Garden Banks region is 85%, meaning it is ranked good with most indicators meeting reference values..
Climate – Composite gauge for climate theme score in the Flower Garden Banks region is 88%, meaning it is ranked good with most indicators meeting reference values.
Human connections – Human connections theme was not scored for the Flower Garden Banks region because the region is uninhabited.
Overall Ecosystem – Overall coral reef ecosystem score for the Flower Garden Banks region is 89%, meaning it is ranked good with most indicators meeting reference values.
Description of each theme is provided in the indicator information section below.
90–100% Very good: All or almost all indicators meet reference values.
80–89% Good: Most indicators meet reference values.
70–79% Fair: Some indicators meet reference values.
60–69% Impaired: Few indicators meet reference values.
0–59% Critical: Very few or no indicators meet reference values.
Description of Gulf of Mexico – Flower Garden Banks
The East and West Flower Garden Banks are submerged topographic features off the shores of Texas and Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico. Rising from over 150 m depth to 17 m below the sea surface, they harbor relatively deep coral reef ecosystems. They were first discovered in the early 1900s and designated as part of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary in 1992. Flower Garden Banks combines data collected from both East and West Flower Garden Banks into a single score. The total coral reef hardbottom habitat less than 30 m in depth that was monitored for Flower Garden Banks is 0.898 square kilometers.
Description of Coral Reefs:
Coral reefs are some of the most diverse and valuable ecosystems on Earth. Though they cover less than one percent of the Earth’s surface, they are estimated to provide ecosystem services (economic and environmental services) worth hundreds of billions of dollars each year. Healthy reefs protect islands and coasts from storm surge, contribute to local economies through tourism (i.e., sportfishing, snorkeling, and diving), and contribute about one-quarter of the total fish catch, providing critical food resources for tens of millions of people particularly in developing island nations.
The coral reef ecosystem scores shown here were analyzed using data from the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP). The scores you see for each region are composite scores for all four themes (benthic, fish, climate, human connections) assessed separately and then one overall score. The overall score is an average of all four theme scores for a specific region’s coral reef ecosystem score. The sources for these values and geographical regions are obtained from the NCRMP’s Status Report Scoring Methodology for Pacific Jurisdictions and 2020 Status Report Scoring Methodology for Atlantic Jurisdictions. The definitions for the themes are as follows:
- Benthic (Corals & algae): Corals and algae make up the base of the coral reef ecosystem, providing food and shelter for fish and other marine animals.
- Fish: Coral reefs serve a vital ecological role for fish species. Fish are important to the ecology of the reef, the economy, and the livelihoods of local communities.
- Climate: Climate affects all components of a reef system. Climate change and ocean acidification influence reefs across the globe, but conditions vary at the regional and local level.
- Human Connections: Coral reef management agencies protect reef resources through management plans, public education, and involving communities in managing their resources.