Benthic Habitats of Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary
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Benthic Habitats of Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary
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    Gray’s Reef was designated as a National Marine Sanctuary in 1981. It encompasses a 58 km2 area of sand and rock bottom located 27 km off the coast of Georgia. It was selected as a Sanctuary in part due to the complex mosaic of habitats in the area including sand plains, caves, scarps, and rocky overhangs (figure 1) which support a diverse assemblage of organisms including approximately 150 species of fish, 200 species of invertebrates, and 65 species of seaweed. Despite a wealth of investigations on the natural resources of the biota and benthic features of Gray’s Reef, only coarse benthic maps of the area have been produced (e.g. Hunt, 1974 below).
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