Welcome Spring's Arrival - Adopt-A-Manatee®!

For further information, contact:

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

For Immediate Release

Note:
A high resolution jpeg (300 dpi) of a manatee image, as well as a photo of Norah & Bailey Dorsey, are available upon request.

Spring and Easter are just around the corner, and Save the Manatee Club suggests surprising the youngsters this year with manatee gift adoptions. Kristy Dorsey, who resides in Colorado, decided to adopt Flicker from the Club's Tampa Bay adoption program as an Easter gift last year for her daughters, Norah & Bailey. "After a visit to Lee County Manatee Park in Fort Myers, Florida, the girls became very interested and concerned about the future of the manatees," explained Kristy. "Today's children will be tomorrow's conservationists, so I thought this would be a fun way to instill those important values in them."
Norah & Bailey pose with a manatee.
Norah and Bailey (l-r) at Lee County Manatee Park, Florida. The Dorsey family looks forward to coming to Florida each year to play on the beaches, swim in the ocean, and see all the amazing animals in and out of the water.

A gift adoption from Save the Manatee Club costs $25, is tax-deductible, and includes a color photo, biography, and adoption certificate of a real endangered manatee living in Florida. Photos and a list of the manatees available for adoption, including Flicker, can be found on the Club's website. Also included with the gift adoption is a membership handbook filled with photos, facts, and information, plus subscriptions to the Club's official quarterly newsletter, The Manatee Zone, and the bi-monthly e-newsletter, Paddle Tales. Shipping is free within the United States. For $35, an 8-inch plush manatee toy is also included with the adoption package - a fun addition to any Easter basket.

Last year was a particularly dire year for the manatee population - 829 deaths were recorded, setting a new somber record for the endangered marine mammals. "Historically, the largest known cause of manatee deaths has been from collisions with boats," said Patrick Rose, Save the Manatee Club's Executive Director. "In recent years though, hundreds of manatees have died from cold stress, and last year, many succumbed from a red tide outbreak in southwest Florida, and from an unusual ongoing mortality event on Florida's east coast. The population cannot continue to sustain such heavy losses, but with the public's much needed help and support, we can continue to make critically important progress to protect manatees and their aquatic habitat."

The Club's mission is to protect imperiled manatees and their habitat for future generations. A 501(c) 3 nonprofit conservation and manatee welfare organization, Save the Manatee Club has been the voice for manatees since 1981 when it was founded by singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett, and former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham. The Club raises public awareness; educates; sponsors research and rescue, rehabilitation, and release efforts; supports land acquisition; promotes aquatic habitat protection; advocates for improved on-the-water protection measures, and supports education and conservation efforts in other countries.

"You can't help but be in awe of these amazing creatures," said Kristy, "plus manatees are so cute and loveable. Without more help, I feel their numbers will continue to decline. My girls have become advocates for the manatees, and they look forward to receiving the Club's newsletter and reading about how the manatees are doing. The adoption program makes them feel part of Save the Manatee Club's conservation work and that they are contributing by helping the Club with their efforts."

To adopt a real manatee for Easter or for a springtime surprise, visit Save the Manatee Club's web site, or call 1-800-432-JOIN (5646). Also, sign up for the Club's free e-newsletter, and watch manatees in their natural habitat on the Club's Blue Spring webcams at manatv.org.

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