Popular boating weekend spells potential trouble for Florida’s struggling manatees

It's a popular weekend for boaters and a possibly deadly one for manatees. One of the biggest threats to manatees is boats and ships running over them in the water. The state invested $30 million of its budget this year towards projects to protect manatees and fix this problem.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s a popular weekend for boaters and a possibly deadly one for manatees.

Randall Godal cruises the coast a couple of times a month.

He said he doesn’t see manatees often but keeps an eye out for wildlife to avoid any accidents.

“We look for them and look for the dolphins just to make sure. We stay cautious looking for manatees. My wife likes to look for them,” he said.

Manatees are dying at unusual rates.

One of the biggest threats to manatees is boats and ships running over them in the water.

The state invested $30 million of its budget this year towards projects to protect manatees and fix this problem.

Loss of habitat, starvation and boating accidents are all immediate threats that have led to this alarming death toll, according to the FWC.

“If you see a manatee, slow down, move out of the way let the manatees go about their business. Make sure to obey the manatee signs that are out there,” said Nadia Gordon, Marine Mammal Biologist, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The FWC has reported over 500 deaths this year.

Last year’s record-breaking death toll reached over 1,000.


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