Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Gray's Reef celebrates 35 years with Film Festival

Black Sea Bass photo by Greg McFail / Gray's Reef NMS
A large live-bottom reef off the coast of Georgia will be celebrated at the 13th Gray’s Reef Ocean Film Festival in Savannah this weekend. It was 35 years ago when President Jimmy Carter designated Gray’s Reef as a National Marine Sanctuary, one of only 14 places with this designation in the United States. Trustees Theatre in Historic Savannah will kick off the two-day film festival with a 3-D film called Secret Ocean by Jean-Michel Cousteau, and then screen a Guy Harvey film at Lucas Theatre on Saturday.

Gray’s Reef is located in nearshore waters, about 16 miles out from Sapelo Island, which is located just South of Tybee Island and a little North of Little St. Simon's Island. The Marine Sanctuary boundaries protect some 22-square miles of ocean, and the diverse habitat that lies 60 to 70-feet below. Gray’s Reef is known as a sandstone reef, and this rocky platform is perfect for ocean life like corals and sponges that are looking for a place to attach and carry on a symbiotic relationship with their host.

The mission statement of Gray’s Reef NationalMarine Sanctuary (NMS) is to identify, protect, conserve and enhance the natural and cultural resources, values and qualities of the sanctuary for current and future generations. The film festival will utilize other subjects found in the ocean as a way to raise awareness for marine culture enthusiasts in the Lowcountry, those living closest to Gray’s Reef. Recreational diving and fishing are allowed at Gray’s reef, but anchoring is against NMS regulations since that would damage the live-bottom.

To view the entire article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

To view the latest Lowcountry Saltwater Fishing Report click here.

To view my blog about the SCDNR Turtle Trawl research program click here.

To view my blog about Juvenile Gag Grouper Ingress research click here.

To view my blog about the 25th Anniversary of the S.C. Governor's Cup Billfishing Series click here.


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