Paul Sammarco psammarco at lumcon.edu
Thu Jul 28 11:57:21 EDT 2016

Dear Judy,

Interesting information about the FGB.  The thing is that they're relatively
deep - min. 70-90' depth, which generally remains a little cooler than the
surface.  Thus, 30oC at that depth may be just enough to push some of the
corals over the edge.

Secondly, the Hypoxic Zone occurs mainly to the east of Lake Sabine, TX and
more inshore.  Plus it is a bottom phenomenon for the most part,
occasionally reaching close to the surface in more shallow waters.  The FGB
are  in 350' of water and at the edge of the continental shelf.  I doubt the
Hypoxic Zone would be a problem there. 



Paul W. Sammarco, Ph.D.
Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON)
8124 Hwy. 56
Chauvin, LA  70344-2110

1-985-851-2876 (tel)
1-985-851-2874 (FAX)
1-985-232-6575 (Cell)
psammarco at lumcon.edu

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Judith Lang
Sent: Thursday, July 28, 2016 9:17 AM
To: Coral-List <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>; Les Kaufman <lesk at bu.edu>

Hi everyone,
A nightmare indeed; condolences from all of us who treasure the Flower
Garden Bank reefs.

Although 86F (30C) isn't extravagently high, I think this is about the
annual warmest temperature on the banks and, if so, it might already be
above the seasonal average for mid-summer.

Lynton Land (my husband) immediately asked if the Gulf dead zone might have
impacted this area. Told him I'm pretty sure the banks are too far offshore
to be under its influence, but weather patterns over the continent have been
unusual this year, so maybe that's another straw at which to grasp..At least
a NOAA vessel should be tracking its movements around the Gulf this week

Please quickly clarify how to preserve affected tissues for metagenomic
analyses for Emma and her team.


Judy Lang
AGRRA Scientific Coordinator

> On Jul 28, 2016, at 9:45 AM, Kaufman, Leslie S <lesk at bu.edu> wrote:
> Hey Bill.  
> Oh, wow- the nightmare. It's like when something bad afoot finally reaches
out to an actual family member.
> OK.
> Emma and GP- beside what you'd already mentioned, I suggest preserving
affected tissues for metagenomic analysis (DNA and mRNA).  We do not have to
run them, but as the situation clarifies, sequence and transcriptomic data
could be clinchers.  
> It doesn't sound like temperature, but of course thermal data will be
important- if there are loggers out might be wise to download them just to
make sure the data are secure.
> Might be worth talking to Esther Peters for instructions on histological
preservation, but since this is a cross-taxon mass-kill most of the
pathology will likely just indicate (superficially) that the critters are
sick and dying, not necessarily how come.
> I think a brief moratorium during close monitoring are justified as a
cautionary move.  This won't be fun.  
> There has not been any oil spotted in the area, right?  Because that is
one thing that this sounds like.  Have there ever been seeps observed
actually within the reef caps on either E or W?  Grasping at straws here..
> Les
> Les Kaufman
> Professor of Biology
> Boston University Marine Program
> Faculty Fellow, Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future 
> and Conservation Fellow Betty and Gordon Moore Center for Science 
> Conservation International lesk at bu.edu <mailto:lesk at bu.edu>
> On Jul 28, 2016, at 9:17 AM, William Precht <william.precht at gmail.com
<mailto:william.precht at gmail.com>> wrote:
>> This made me ill while reading:-(
>> Sent from my iPhone
>> Begin forwarded message:
>>> From: James Hendee <jim.hendee at noaa.gov 
>>> <mailto:jim.hendee at noaa.gov>>
>>> Date: July 28, 2016 at 6:30:36 AM EDT
>>> To: Coral-List <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov 
>>> <mailto:coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>>
>>> Greetings,
>>>    Dr. Gittings' message was incorrectly formatted (image was 
>>> attached), but due to the emergency nature of the message, I am 
>>> posting this for him.  Please note this is from him, and to contact 
>>> him for any feedback (i.e., not me).
>>>    Thanks!
>>>    Jim
>>> Subject:
>>> From:
>>> Steve Gittings - NOAA Federal <steve.gittings at noaa.gov 
>>> <mailto:steve.gittings at noaa.gov>>
>>> Date:
>>> 7/27/16, 5:08 PM
>>> To:
>>> "coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>>> <mailto:coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>" 
>>> <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>>> <mailto:coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>>,
>>> Cheryl Woodley - NOAA Federal <cheryl.woodley at noaa.gov 
>>> <mailto:cheryl.woodley at noaa.gov>>, _NOS ONMS Leadership Team 
>>> <onmslt at noaa.gov <mailto:onmslt at noaa.gov>>, _NOS ONMS Conservation 
>>> Science Division <onmscsd at noaa.gov <mailto:onmscsd at noaa.gov>>, 
>>> nmsprc at noaa.gov <mailto:nmsprc at noaa.gov>, Ed Levine - NOAA Federal 
>>> <ed.levine at noaa.gov <mailto:ed.levine at noaa.gov>>, Lisa Symons 
>>> <Lisa.Symons at noaa.gov <mailto:Lisa.Symons at noaa.gov>>, Edward 
>>> Lindelof - NOAA Federal <edward.lindelof at noaa.gov 
>>> <mailto:edward.lindelof at noaa.gov>>, Bill Goodwin - NOAA Federal 
>>> <Bill.Goodwin at noaa.gov <mailto:Bill.Goodwin at noaa.gov>>, Bill Precht 
>>> <bill.precht at noaa.gov <mailto:bill.precht at noaa.gov>>, "Boland, 
>>> Gregory S" <Gregory.Boland at boem.gov 
>>> <mailto:Gregory.Boland at boem.gov>>, William Kiene 
>>> <william.kiene at noaa.gov <mailto:william.kiene at noaa.gov>>
>>> I just got a call from Emma Hickerson, Research Coordinator for the 
>>> Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.  She's on the East 
>>> Flower Garden Bank and reports what appears to be an unprecedented 
>>> mass dieoff of numerous species of at least corals, sea urchins, 
>>> brittle stars, and sponges over a large area.  She says large mats 
>>> of tissue are sloughing off and there appear to be large bacterial 
>>> mats on the bottom.  Large amounts of material and haze in the water 
>>> is making for virtually zero visibility in some places.  Water 
>>> temperature is 86F.  She isn't certain of areal coverage, but 
>>> believes it to be affecting the areas containing at least three 
>>> mooring buoys (4, 5, and 6).  I believe these buoys are about 100 m 
>>> from one another.  She did not see it at Buoy 2 (the long-term 
>>> monitoring study site), which is on the east edge of the reef a 
>>> similar distance away.  They will continue survey and do random drops to
determine the extent.
>>> 1) Emma would like advice on collection and preservation of materials. 
>>> They have ethanol, formalin, and freezer space on board, but I don't 
>>> know about other details (jars, etc.)
>>> 2) Does anyone believe that an emergency closure is warranted to 
>>> reduce spread of the problem by divers, or for any other reason?
>>> 3) They are disinfecting dive gear, I believe with a vinegar solution. 
>>> Any additional suggestions on better or additional protocols?
>>> Thanks very much for any advice.  I can pass it along to the field 
>>> crew via sat phone.
>>> Steve
>>> --
>>> Dr. Steve Gittings, Science Coordinator NOAA Office of National 
>>> Marine Sanctuaries
>>> 1305 East West Hwy., N/ORM62
>>> Silver Spring, MD  20910
>>> (240) 533-0708 (w), (301) 529-1854 (c) 
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Coral-List mailing list
>>> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>>> <mailto:Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
>>> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
>>> <http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list>

Coral-List mailing list
Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.

More information about the Coral-List mailing list