Explore vibrant Flower Gardens Banks at Moody Gardens

Journey to new depths to take in a unique tropical coral reef system found in Galveston’s front yard in the Gulf of Mexico, all without leaving dry land.

Your voyage to the Flower Garden Banks is just around the corner as Moody Gardens reveals the new exhibit – and so much more – this summer as part of our $37 million enhancements to the Aquarium Pyramid.

Explore this unique tropical coral reef system found 115 miles offshore from Galveston in the Gulf of Mexico. Moody Gardens partnered with the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary to highlight this gem in our front yard and replicate the diversity in the reef systems of the East Flower Garden Bank, West Flower Garden Bank and Stetson Bank.

See first-hand how Brain and Star coral dominate the reef system. Vibrant coral and sponges add pops of color deep underwater. Our exhibit also highlights Elkhorn and Staghorn coral. While not currently located in the banks, the sanctuary found that Staghorn Coral was once part of the reef system thousands of years ago. Some species of Star, Elkhorn and Staghorn coral are listed as threatened species on the endangered species list.

These banks are some of the healthiest reef systems, thanks to being far removed from manmade pollutants. Nationwide, coral reefs are facing pressures from manmade pollutants. It’s been estimated that up to 70 percent of the corals in the Gulf of Mexico are in trouble.

Get Up Close!

In addition to the Flower Garden Banks Exhibit, Moody Gardens is enhancing its touch tank in this area to give guests a fully immersive experience while crossing the air/water border. The tank showcases invertebrates including sea stars, hermit crabs and pencil urchins, all of which guests will be able to touch.

Renovations will offer guests a spectacular aquarium experience including a new Gulf of Mexico Oil Rig Exhibit and Mangrove Exhibit. Moody Gardens will unveil enhancements made to the Aquarium Pyramid to the public with a grand reveal May 27. Travel from the Gulf of Mexico to the South Atlantic, the South Pacific and the North Pacific. Each ocean exhibit highlights different marine sanctuaries.

We’re also adding jellyfish and tropical penguins at the Aquarium Pyramid, all ready for you to explore starting May 27, 2017!

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