Public Awareness Activities

A kayaker holds the Club’s boating banner high to alert area boaters that a manatee is close by.

Each year, Save the Manatee Club (SMC) sends out press releases and public service ads on manatee issues to local, state, national, and international media. Jimmy Buffett and other celebrities also record public service announcements that are distributed to radio and television stations throughout the United States. SMC staff handle many requests for manatee information, and the Club maintains a toll-free telephone number for this purpose. In addition, SMC maintains a web site on the Internet, and SMC staff answer email questions about manatees from the public.

SMC produces public awareness waterway signs, boat decals, and waterproof banners that alert boaters to the presence of manatees. They are distributed free to Florida boaters and shoreline property owners. The Club also produces posters with a manatee conservation message that are distributed free to marinas, schools, libraries, businesses, and other organizations.

In conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), SMC has produced brochures highlighting the problems associated with feeding manatees.

In addition, SMC has created a brochure with manatee protection tips for divers, swimmers and boaters with support from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors(PADI) and the FWS. SMC and the Army Corps of Engineers produced a brochure with tips for boaters to help reduce manatee mortalities at Florida’s canal lock structures. In conjunction with the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, SMC also produces an outdoor sign discussing the problems of feeding, touching, and giving manatees water that have also been distributed at manatee viewing areas throughout Florida.

SMC has started programs in Broward County and the Florida Keys to recycle monofilament fishing line and is one of the partners in the statewide Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program, which works to educate the public about the dangers of discarded line to manatees and other wildlife.

To direct questions about manatees to SMC staff members or to request any of the educational materials listed above, send an e-mail to education@savethemanatee.org


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