Take action on behalf of manatees

Contact policy makers and let them know how important manatees are to you. It doesn’t matter whether you live in Florida or outside the state, you can still find ways to take action. View Current Action Issues affecting manatees below and learn what you can do to help. To be notified of these issues as they occur, sign up for Action Alert emails by entering your email below. There are Other Ways To Take Action, too, including signing petitions and pledges, voting, and writing to publications. We also have ways for kids to get involved too!

Current Action Issues and Updates

Protect the Weeki Wachee River

As a Hernando County resident and Save the Manatee Club Member, you are likely aware of the County’s efforts to protect the Weeki Wachee River by designating it a Spring Protection Zone.

For better or worse, the word is out about the stunning beauty of the Weeki Wachee River and more people are visiting than ever before.

Many locals have said the river is being “loved to death” and this is evidenced by loss of eelgrass, bank erosion and boat congestion throughout the spring run. Manatees use the Weeki Wachee year-round, and we can be certain that these activities are affecting them as well.

Next week, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will be meeting in St. Petersburg to decide whether to designate the portion of Weeki Wachee River from Rogers Park to the State Park headspring as a Spring Protection Zone.  If adopted, this would mean that boating and swimming will still be allowed, but anchoring, mooring, beaching and grounding of vessels will be prohibited within the designated area. Will you please join us by voicing your support for designating Weeki Wachee River as a Spring Protection Zone? Public comments will be accepted through this Friday at 5:00pm by filling out this online form. Feel free to use the statement below or your own words to let the Commissioners know that the Spring Protection Zone designation is the best way ensure that the important manatee habitat provided by the Weeki Wachee River is protected into perpetuity.

Sample Comment:

Dear Commissioners,

Please adopt the Spring Protection Zone for Weeki Wachee Spring and spring run from Rogers Park to the headspring within Weeki Wachee State Park. The measure was requested by the Hernando County Board of County Commissioners after numerous public meetings and required public hearings, demonstrating that there is significant local support.

Thank you for listening to organizations like Save the Manatee Club and most importantly, local residents who spoke out in favor of the newly proposed rule that incorporates the entire section of the river as originally proposed. The river provides essential habitat for manatees, turtles and other aquatic plants and animals. The Spring Protection Zone is the best path forward to protect this habitat now and into the future.


Be Fertilizer-Free for Manatees

Nutrient pollution in Florida’s waterways is a critical problem, fueling repeated harmful algal blooms in coastal waters. In the Indian River Lagoon, a critical manatee habitat, such harmful algal blooms have destroyed native seagrass, resulting in the deaths by starvation of hundreds of manatees. An unprecedented 1,100 manatees died in Florida in 2021 and the trend has continued into 2022.

Together, we can protect these critical habitats for manatees, other aquatic life, and for our own future generations by reducing human sources of pollution such as fertilizers, improperly-treated sewage, leaking septic systems, and stormwater runoff. While Save the Manatee Club works with our partners to strengthen policies that protect water quality, the individual actions of each Florida resident can make a big difference for the health of our waterways. Do your part: take the pledge to be Fertilizer-Free for Manatees!

Come to the Aid of Manatees and the Indian River Lagoon

Fueled by high levels of nutrient pollution over many decades, the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary (IRL) has suffered a series of harmful algal blooms, leading to massive losses in seagrass coverage. During the 2020-2021 winter season, there was very little seagrass or vegetation for imperiled manatees to eat in the immediate vicinity of warm water locations along the IRL, and many manatees suffered and died from malnutrition. We need to make sure this never happens again. Here’s how you can help:

Urge Governor DeSantis to Restore The Great Florida Riverway

The Ocklawaha, the heart of the Great Florida Riverway, was dammed in 1968. Constructed for a canal that was never completed, the dam flooded over 7,500 acres of forested wetlands, 20 springs, and 16 miles of the Ocklawaha River. Restoring the Great Florida Riverway by breaching this dam will re-establish access to essential habitat for manatees, bring back migratory fish, connect three river ecosystems, historic Silver Springs, and restore a lost riverway for anglers and paddlers. Please sign our petition and urge Governor DeSantis to restore the Great Florida Riverway.

  • Send free ecards to family and friends
  • Take the Ocklawaha Quiz to find which animal you are, and how that animal would benefit from a restored river.

End the Plastic Pollution Crisis

The world faces an indisputable plastic pollution crisis. More than 99% of plastic is created from chemicals sourced from fossil fuels, including an oversupply of fracked gas, which is spurring a global boom in new plastic production. That plastic is causing serious environmental problems at every step of its lifecycle. Save the Manatee Club is an endorsing partner for the #PlasticFreePresident Plan. Please sign a petition asking President Biden to set the nation on a pathway to a plastic pollution-free future.

Help Scientists Monitor Florida Red Tide

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute’s (FWRI) Red Tide Offshore Monitoring Program needs resident volunteers from all of Florida’s coastal counties to collect water samples. Volunteers must be able to collect water samples at least once a month from piers, bridges, or docks alongshore or from locations at least 1 mile offshore. FWRI pays for sampling supplies and shipping costs. Timely sampling by volunteers allows researchers to provide an early warning of offshore algal blooms and investigate reported events as they occur. Email: RTOMP_coordinator@MyFWC.com for more information or fill out the Volunteer Signup Form.

How You Can Help (click below to view):