National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Texas.
Located 70 to 115 miles from the nearest land, the wonderful biological diversity and breathtaking beauty of the Flower Garden Banks prompted researchers and recreational divers to seek protection for this area. In the 1970s they launched what would become a 20 year effort, culminating in 1992, to designate the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. In October, 1996, Congress expanded the sanctuary by adding a small third bank. Stetson Bank is also a salt dome, located about 70 miles south of Galveston, Texas. Because of its location, average temperatures during the winter are several degrees cooler than at the Flower Gardens. Consequently, the corals do not thrive and build into reefs. Instead, this bank supports a coral/sponge habitat and rich assemblages of associated animals and plants where the siltstone bedrock can still be seen in many places. Diving and fishing can be enjoyed by visitors to the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.
Roughly 110 miles south of the Texas-Louisiana border