Red Fan Coral and Orange Finger Sponge
Red Fan Coral and Orange Finger Sponge
Remora News & Events


August, 2011

U.S. Coast Guard helicopters
at Gray's Reef?

Have you been to Gray's Reef lately and seen the orange United States Coast Guard (USCG) helicopter flying overhead? If so, you were probably curious as to why they were there.

U. S. Coast Guard Helicopter

U. S. Coast Guard Helicopter

The USCG has a division known as Living Marine Resources or LMR. This division is assisting NOAA's efforts to maintain sustainable fisheries, protect vulnerable resources such as marine mammals, and assisting the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries to monitor activities within the nation's sanctuaries.

North Atlantic Right Whale Mother and Calf

North Atlantic Right Whale Mother and Calf

The USCG is providing enforcement of regulations and observing mammals and endangered species that may be present within our sanctuaries. On board many of these flights to Gray's Reef are a Gray's Reef team member or "observer" who logs any important sightings such as whales, turtles, fishing activity, or harmful algal blooms.

Endangered North Atlantic Right Whales follow a migratory path from north to south, close to shore along the entire U.S. eastern seaboard. This migration is primarily between November and April when they arrive in the coastal waters of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida to give birth to their calves.

U. S. Coast Guard Hoist Training

Captain Todd Recicar, GRNMS; aboard Gray's Reef R/V Joe Ferguson assists during U. S. Coast Guard Hoist Training.
(Photo: Chris Briand, GRNMS)

As the Coast Guard air stations are required to always have helicopters training in preparedness for any emergency situation that may arise, this partnership also provides them with specific missions to further their training and proficiency within a unique environment that may have otherwise been conducted in a more familiar setting over land.

Another partnership in which Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary occasionally works with the USCG is by providing a vessel to use during hoist and rescue swimmer training.

Click here to view more information about the U.S. Coast Guard participation in the National Marine Sanctuary Program.

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