Now that weather and waters are warming, manatees are disbursing into their popular feeding and loafing areas. To ensure manatee safety, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) law enforcement officers, along with federal and local law enforcement partners, will be increasing patrols in these areas.
This effort coincides with seasonal manatee zones that went into effect April 1 and run through Nov. 15. The speed zones are intended to protect the state’s official marine mammal from collisions with boats.
Boaters should pay strict attention to signs that delineate each seasonal manatee protection zone and their boat’s speed. Boaters and others who find sick or injured manatees should report the animal and its location to the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922. For more information about Florida manatees, visit MyFWC.com/Manatee, where you can access the Boaters Guide To Living With Manatees brochure.