On Sunday, June 9th, military families from across Texas gathered for a memorable day of fishing at the Flower Garden Banks Marine Sanctuary. This event, organized by the National Park Trust, the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, and NOAA, aimed to blend outdoor recreation with marine conservation education.

Participants assembled at the pier early Sunday morning, catching the last glimpses of sunrise. NOAA representatives provided an insightful introduction to the local marine sanctuary, discussing the diverse wildlife and the significance of protecting this vital ecosystem. Shortly thereafter, families boarded a 70-foot fishing charter, embarking on a swift journey to the first fishing spot in the bay. Along the way, they were treated to the sight of playful dolphin pods.

Throughout the day, families learned how to hook bait and cast lines, quickly mastering the art of fishing. Small catfish were the first to be caught, followed by various other small game fish as the charter moved between multiple fishing spots. The day finished with families taking home their catch and their fishing gear to use on future adventures.

This event provided a fun-filled day of fishing and instilled a deeper appreciation for marine conservation among the participating military families.

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation provided funds to the National Park Trust to offer these fishing opportunities to elementary-aged students, military service members, and their families in national marine sanctuaries nationwide. To read more about this outing, check out the press release.

This event at Flower Water Banks Marine Sanctuary is the second of five fishing events at national marine sanctuaries nationwide in 2024. The three remaining event locations will be in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in California, Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary in Maryland, and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary in California. These events aim to combine education and recreation, encouraging a greater appreciation for marine conservation and sustainable fishing practices.