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Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary Partnership

October - March 2024

Learn about local ocean habitat, wildlife, and the scientists studying Gray's Reef!

Live Oak Public Libraries is excited to invite you to our partnership with Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary. Five libraries will host the Sanctuary's Wave Wall exhibits until March 2024. Additionally, libraries will host educational presentations from the Gray's Reef team. Be sure to check the schedule here. 

Gray's Reef is a live-bottom reef and one of only 15 national marine sanctuaries in the U.S., and it's located right here in Georgia, about 20 miles off the coast of Sapelo Island.

The sanctuary provides year-round opportunities for sport fishing, recreational diving, and boating. The research area within the sanctuary hosts one of the only designated no-take zones in the region, which makes Gray's Reef a catalyst for scientific research studying water quality, ocean noise, hurricane prediction, and climate change.

Wave Walls

  • Springfield Library - Charismatic Megafauna + Invertebrates 

  • Oglethorpe Mall Library - Habitat and History 

  • Garden City Library - Research and Fishes

  • Islands Library - Fishing, Diving and Community 

  • Hinesville Library - NOAA timeline and mission

Building the Wave Walls

Professors Bryan Mossing and Benjamin Curran of Savannah Technical College volunteered to make the ambitious vision for a large exhibit for the Gray’s Reef Expo: Celebrating NOAA’s 50th Anniversary event a reality. Not only did the two professors offer to design, draft, and engineer a plan for the construction, but they enlisted their own Savannah Tech students to build the structure as class projects.

The professors led their students and some volunteers in building the exhibit, taking several hundred hours to construct. Some of the students continued to work on building the exhibit even after their semester had ended.

Thanks to these two professors, Savannah Technical College created a quality product that will interpret the resources of Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary for many years to come. The waves have a hollow core made with wooden ribs and thin wooden sheeting, making them easy to move from location to location.

Upcoming Activities & Programs

Want to learn more about Gray's Reef? Come learn about the sanctuary from the scientists studying it! 

A Deep Dive Into Gray's Reef: Ocean Life Off Our Coasts

Join Ben Prueitt of Gray's Reef to learn about the important role Georgia's live bottom reef plays as a habitat for marine life.  

Rincon Library
October 30, 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Oglethorpe Mall Library
January 25, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Bull Street Library
February 5, 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Southwest Chatham Library
February 26, 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM


A Deep Dive Into Gray's Reef: Fishing, Diving and Community

Learn about reef recreation and conservation. People are the biggest resource for the sanctuary’s conservation. Whether it be sustainable fishing and diving practices, getting involved as a volunteer, or becoming a member of the sanctuary’s Advisory Council, the next 40 years of sanctuary protection happens with our community.  

Islands Library
November 15, 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Tybee Island Library
November 27, 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM


A Deep Dive Into Gray's Reef: A Catalyst For Research

Learn about how the reef serves as a living laboratory of ocean research. Researchers from across the southeast U.S. study the waters, fish, invertebrate animals of the sanctuary. Gray’s Reef hosts many cutting-edge technologies to study our oceans and the impacts of hurricanes and climate change.

Pooler Library
December 11, 6:00 PM - 6:45 PM

Garden City Library
December 20, 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Midway-Riceboro Library 
March 11, 6:00 PM - 6:45 PM


A Deep Dive Into Gray's Reef: About NOAA

Learn about The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the trustee of all national marine sanctuaries, and how it supports a weather-ready nation and global research.

Hinesville Library
January 4, 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM


A Deep Dive Into Gray's Reef: History and Habitat

Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary is an ocean park teeming with life. Come explore its history, habitats and sea life that call this reef home. 

Islands Library
March 25, 6:00 PM - 6:45 PM