Boaters, when you head out on the state’s waterways during the Labor Day weekend, please be extra cautious and obey manatee speed zone signs!
During warm weather, manatees move throughout Florida’s estuaries and rivers, and along the shore line, canals and basins all over the state. Boaters can help keep manatees safe by following a few simple guidelines: Stay in marked channels, wear polarized sunglasses to improve visibility below the water surface and obey posted boat-speed zones. Using poles, paddles or trolling motors when in close proximity to manatees and having someone onboard scan the water when under way can go a long way to protecting manatees from harm.
Boaters should scan the water near or in front of the boat – looking for a repetitive line of half-moon swirls – sometimes called a manatee footprint – or a trail or a snout or fluke (tail) breaking the water’s surface.
As of Aug. 20, 58 manatees have died in 2010 from watercraft strikes. With a little extra care, we can hopefully keep that number from increasing!
If you see a manatee in distress or a dead manatee, call the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922).
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Posted by The DRC Family at 11:05 AM