The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is highly focused on protecting Manatees, especially since Lee, Brevard and Volusia counties have all reported an increase in boat strikes on manatees so far this year. In a strategic attempt to change that trend, and to enhance manatee conservation and public safety, the FWC has increased patrols in strategic areas of the state.
“We strategically assign officers to patrol certain areas based on boating activity and manatee data,” said Col. Curtis Brown, director of the FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement. “We also work closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and local partners to make sure that boaters know to look out for manatees. We want people and manatees to be safe.”
Boaters can also be a part of the overall solution. By paying attention to their surroundings boaters can keep people safe as well as manatees. Abide by posted speed zone signs, wear polarized sunglasses to reduce glare on the surface of the water, which will enable you to see manatees more easily, try to stay in deep-water channels whenever possible, and avoid boating over seagrass beds and shallow areas.
For more information, visit MyFWC.com. To report an injured manatee, call the Wildlife Alert hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922). You can also show support for FWC’s manatee research and conservation efforts with a Save The Manatee license plate: bit.ly/2FRfMJx.