Deep-sea corals flourish in the dark depths of the Gulf of Mexico, providing foundations that attract lush communities of other animals, including brittle stars, anemones, crabs, and fish. (Credit: Lophelia II 2010 Expedition, NOAA-OER/BOEM)

Plan Calls For Expanding Gulf Of Mexico Reef Sanctuary

A federal marine sanctuary protecting coral reefs in the Gulf of Mexico could grow five times in size under a plan being proposed to safeguard an even larger area of the Gulf from scavengers looking for historic shipwrecks, ships dropping anchor, commercial fishing and oil and gas drilling.