Boating This Summer? Take Care and Be Manatee Aware

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Cynthia Lyons posts a Save the Manatee Club sign on her dock hoping to slow boaters down and protect the manatees who often gather there.

For further information, contact:

Janice Nearing,
Director of Public Relations
Save the Manatee Club
Phone: (407) 539-0990
E-mail: jnearing@
savethemanatee.org


For Immediate Release:
June 24, 2014

Note:A high resolution jpeg (300 dpi) image of the Club’s yellow boating banner is available upon request.

This summer, Save the Manatee Club reminds recreational boaters that they could be boating close to manatees and other Florida wildlife, so be extra cautious.

“Manatees aggregate to breed in the warmer months,” said Dr. Katie Tripp, Director of Science and Conservation for the Club. “Groups of manatees that typically consist of one female and multiple males are called ‘mating herds.’ It’s important to keep a safe distance and do not approach, touch, or disturb them. Such disturbance can interfere with breeding activity, which is against the law.”
Manatee Public Awareness Waterway Sign
Save the Manatee Club's public awareness waterway signs are free to Florida shoreline property owners. Waterproof banners and boat decals with a similar message are also free to those boating in Florida.

Save the Manatee Club produces and distributes public awareness and educational materials free to boaters, shoreline property owners, schools, and to the general public. Numerous Florida boaters are carrying the Club’s “Please Slow Manatees Below” waterproof banners to warn other boaters that manatees are in the area. The Club’s boat console stickers and shoreline property signs both feature the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) hotline number to facilitate the rescue of an injured or orphaned manatee, or to report harassment. Call the FWC at 1-888-404-FWCC (3922) or #FWC or *FWC on a cellular phone, or use VHF Channel 16 on a marine radio, or text or email to Tip@MyFWC.com.

The Club also offers free, family-friendly public awareness manatee signs and posters for sites where human/manatee interactions are a problem. These materials are distributed around Florida to state, municipal, and county parks; marinas; and other places where harassment of manatees is a concern.

Cynthia Lyons from Orangedale, Florida, in St. Johns County, requested one of the Club’s free dock signs hoping to slow down boat traffic in her area where manatees are often seen. “A friend who lives nearby had put up a manatee sign, and we wanted to do our part too,” said Cynthia. “We hope that it brings awareness to the issue.”

More “Manatee Protection Tips for Boaters” can be found on the Club’s website at savethemanatee.org/boatertips. Also download the free Manatee Alert App for iPhones and iPads at iTunes, which notifies boaters when they are approaching manatee speed zones and helps facilitate the reporting of injured manatees and manatee harassment. Also check out the Club’s new animated boating video, “Share the Waterway,” at YouTube for more tips. The Club is thankful to all those in the boating community who operate with care.

The free materials listed can be obtained by contacting Save the Manatee Club via e-mail at education@savethemanatee.org, by regular mail at 500 N. Maitland Ave., Maitland, FL 32751, or by calling toll free at 1-800-432-JOIN (5646).

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