The Big Bend Region (BBR) in the Northeastern Gulf of Mexico (NEGOM) contains some of the country's most ecologically diverse and economically productive marine habitats.
This region contains both spawning sites and nursery habitats for many key species of the region, such as the gag grouper (Mycteroperca microlepis).
Adult gag spawn on offshore reefs along the continental shelf break each spring (Feb - April) (Coleman et al., 1996).
Gag larvae are transported across the shelf until eventually settling as juveniles in the seagrasses of the coastal waters 30-60 days later (Koenig and Coleman, 1998).
The study outlined in Todd et al. (2014) is the first to identify transport pathways from spawning grounds to seagrass beds in the Big Bend.