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Originally Posted: August 30, 2008
Help Manatees Through Greater Enforcement of Boat Speed Zones
From Save the Manatee
Cuts in state and federal funding have resulted in fewer on-water law enforcement officers in critical areas of Florida. The Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, created to safeguard manatees, is one such area. In July, a mother manatee was horribly injured in the bay by a speeding boat and subsequently died. Very recently, another manatee was also horribly injured by a speeding boat and died. Unfortunately, this scenario will continue to be repeated many times in areas heavily used by both boats and manatees unless law enforcement efforts are increased dramatically.
Although we don’t believe in gratuitously displaying manatee photos depicting disfiguring injuries, we have decided - after much soul-searching - to post some online photos of the poor manatee mother because a picture is worth a thousand words.
Our immediate goal is to get more officers on the water during times of peak use, even if it means Save the Manatee Club pays for them. We are also increasing boater awareness with a new poster featuring the message, “Navigate With Care, Manatees Are There.” And we will advocate to eliminate dangerous high speed areas.
What You Can Do
Take action now by sending the following letter to Dirk Kempthorne, Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, and to Florida’s Governor Charlie Crist, asking them to immediately increase their on-water law enforcement presence throughout manatee habitat. And please send this alert to your friends and family and ask them to take action, too.
You can help safeguard manatees in Crystal River and other critical areas of Florida by donating now to Save the Manatee Club. Thank you so much for your help!
For more information, visit Save the Manatee http://www.savethemanatee.org.
The calf photo on these pages is from Farm Sanctuary with our thanks.
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