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Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary

Cause Area

  • Community
  • Environment

Location

10 Ocean Science CircleSavannah, GA 31411 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

The mission of Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary is to identify, protect, conserve, and enhance the natural and cultural resources, values, and qualities of the sanctuary for current and future generations.

Description

Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary is an amazing ocean park open to fishing and diving. The 22-square-mile sanctuary is the only protected natural reef and one of a few natural marine protected areas in the Atlantic Ocean between Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and Cape Canaveral, Florida. Located 19 miles due east of Sapelo Island, Georgia, the live-bottom reef is situated on the mid-continental shelf within the South Atlantic Bight and the Carolinian Ecoregion.

Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary is teeming with diverse and abundant marine life. Scientists have identified more than 200 species of fish and 900 species of invertebrates that use the sanctuary. Threatened loggerhead sea turtles rest and forage at Gray’s Reef year-round, and the reef lies within the critical habitat and only known winter calving ground of the highly endangered North Atlantic right whale. Since 1981, NOAA has conserved the quality of this unique and fragile ecological community as a national marine sanctuary. The mission of Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary is to identify, protect, conserve, and enhance the natural and cultural resources, values and resources of the sanctuary for current and future generations through proper management.

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