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. Click the blue boxes below to learn about Current Action Issues affecting manatees and Other Ways To Take Action. Join our Email Action Alert Team by entering your email in the “Stay Informed” box below, and we’ll send you notices of manatee issues and how you can help.
How You Can Help:
Lee County, Florida Residents: Calls Needed Today To Protect Water Quality
Tomorrow, May 22nd, the Lee County Board of Commissioners will decide whether to weaken wetland protections in the County comprehensive land use plan. The new proposal will authorize commercial or industrial development in wetlands areas that are currently protected under the existing plan. Our wetlands need MORE protections, not fewer, if we are to finally stop the algae blooms plaguing our waters. Tell Lee County Commissioners to keep the current wetland protections in place. Click this link to contact your Lee County Commissioner before the morning of Wednesday, May 22, 2019: . Click the link above to get more info.
Update: Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act of 2019
Thanks to your help, Congressman Vern Buchanan will be an original cosponsor on the Wildlife Corridors Bill, and his support will make the bill bipartisan! If passed, the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act will restore habitat and protect America’s native wildlife by establishing a National Wildlife Corridors Program that facilitates the designation of wildlife corridors on federal lands and provides grants to protect wildlife corridors on non-federal lands. Click the following link to get more information on the Act.
Florida Residents: Protect Florida’s Environment: Urge Governor DeSantis to Veto Damaging Bills.
Please contact him ASAP!
SB 7068, authorizes new toll roads through some of Florida’s most pristine remaining natural lands has been sent to the governor. The construction of these roads and the sprawl that will result will further degrade water quality along Florida’s springs coast, including critical manatee habitat in Citrus County. These roads will also cost hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars from the general revenue fund that supports environmental protection, education, and other essential services. The second bill, HB 7103, amended and rushed through at the very end of the Legislative Session, effectively kills local government comprehensive growth management planning in Florida. Under this bill, any person or group who tries to enforce local comprehensive plans will be required to pay attorney fees of the local government if their suit is unsuccessful. Please CONTACT GOVERNOR DESANTIS NOW AND URGE HIM TO VETO SB 7068 and HB 7103! You may call him during business hours at (850) 717-9337, click this link to reach him via email, or Tweet @GovRonDeSantis. Click the link above for more information. Thank you for your help!
Update: Commission Rejects Wastewater Effluent Pipeline from Being Drilled Under and Across the Indian River Lagoon
The pipeline was planned to go under the Indian River Lagoon, which is manatee habitat and an estuary of national significance. Thank you to all who voiced their opposition to this project!
Help Ban Fracking in Florida!
The good news is that bills are moving in both the state House and Senate, and that the governor has issued an executive order in favor of banning fracking. The bad news is that the House version of the proposed committee bill disappointingly exempts matrix acidizing – the main type of fracking that occurs in Florida – from the ban. Florida Residents: Please take a couple of minutes to call Governor DeSantis and House Speaker Oliva. Click the link above to get more information and take action on this issue.
Ask Governor DeSantis to Protect Manatees and Aquatic Habitat
Ron DeSantis was recently elected governor of Florida. Please take just a few minutes to send him a message. Click the link above to contact Florida’s new governor. Let him know that manatees are important to you, and urge him to do all he can to protect manatees and their aquatic habitat.
Sign the Petition to End Phosphate Mining in Florida!
The Florida we know and love is wild as can be — but there’s a toxic legacy that’s threatening to overtake our state, and we need your help to stop it. Florida is now the capital of U.S. phosphate mining, and it’s killing our air, water and wildlife. Please click the link above to sign this petition from our friends at the Center for Biological Diversity asking Governor DeSantis to end new phosphate mining now.
Ask Congress to Defend Manatees and Other Marine Mammals
Oil special interests in Congress are trying to gut the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), an important ocean conservation law that seeks to restore and maintain healthy populations of all marine mammals in U.S. waters. The changes proposed in a bill pushed by pro-drilling members of Congress could devastate populations of manatees, whales, dolphins, seals, and other marine mammals, risk ocean health, and reverse years of ocean conservation. Please take just a few minutes to send a message to your U.S. senators and representatives, asking them to defend manatees, whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals by rejecting legislation that would weaken the MMPA.
Endangered Species Act Under Attack! Help Protect Manatees and Other Imperiled Wildlife
On July 19th, President Trump’s Department of Interior released a series of proposed changes to the way it interprets and carries out actions under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). These proposed regulations come on top of bills in Congress likewise aimed at weakening the ESA. The Endangered Species Act is one of the nation’s most powerful environmental laws. It has saved hundreds of species from extinction and preserved millions of acres of critical habitat. Your leaders need to hear from you! Let them know that protecting endangered species is a top priority. Click the link above to get more information and find out what you can do.
Florida’s Algal Blooms: What You Can Do
Save the Manatee Club has received many calls, comments and questions in regard to red tide and toxic algae blooms in Florida. We encourage you to share your stories and your photographs with your elected officials at the local, state, and federal levels, the news media, and your online network of contacts. Click the link above to get more information and find out what you can do.
Sign The Now Or Neverglades Declaration
Support the 200-plus Everglades scientists who believe that increased storage, treatment and conveyance of water south of Lake Okeechobee is essential to stop the damaging discharges to the coastal estuaries; to restore the flow of clean, fresh water to Everglades National Park, Florida Bay and the Florida Keys; to improve the health of Lake Okeechobee; and to protect the drinking water for 8 million Floridians.
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 use the link above for the Volunteer Signup Form.
Demand Clean Water For Wildlife & People
The Floridians’ Clean Water Declaration is a positive vision to inspire people to work together to create a new water ethic, find solutions to Florida’s water quality and quantity problems and send a clear message to our water managers that the people of Florida demand clean water.
Sign Up To Clean Up!
Debris in the waterway, such as discarded fishing line and hooks, plastic six-pack holders, and plastic bags, is dangerous to manatees and other wildlife. To help counteract this problem, Save the Manatee Club is partnering with Central Florida RECON on several area cleanups this summer. We could use your help! Please click the link above to check out the scheduled cleanup events at our Facebook page and join us if you can spare a few hours.
Update! Congress Rejects Anti-Wildlife Provisions on Spending Bill
This spring, the U.S. House of Representatives voted and passed an Omnibus appropriations bill that largely rejected new policy provisions or amendments that would have weakened the Endangered Species Act. The bill’s release follows weeks of intense pressure from conservation groups on behalf of imperiled wildlife. Thank you to everyone who contacted their legislators! Get more info from the Endangered Species Coalition (Save the Manatee Club is a member organization) by clicking the link above.
Controversial Federal Action Puts Manatees In Harm’s Way
In March 2017, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service issued its final rule to downgrade the status of the West Indian manatee from endangered to threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act despite strong scientific and legal evidence that shows the downlisting of manatees is not warranted at this time. Learn why we are opposed to downlisting.
Give Manatees Sanctuary
Each year, manatees travel to the warm springs of Kings Bay, in Florida’s Citrus County, to survive the cold winters. Upon their arrival, they are rebuffed by thousands of humans whose careless behaviors deny them access to or chase them from these critically important warm-water refuges. Please watch our video and sign a petition urging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to make Three Sisters Springs a true winter sanctuary for manatees.
Florida Residents: Help Manatees By Signing A Petition at Change.org to Restore the Ocklawaha River at Change.org
Restoration of the Ocklawaha River would provide much-needed winter habitat for manatees and would benefit other wildlife as well as Florida’s springs. It would reestablish traditional manatee access routes to the upper Ocklawaha River, its tributaries, and the St. Johns River, and several potential warm water refuges along the Ocklawaha River would become available. The restoration of the Ocklawaha River would also support the return of native plants and provide a more diverse supply of vegetation to serve as a food source for manatees. Florida Residents or Property Owners: Sign the petition at Change.org.
Urge Governor DeSantis To Lead The Way In Safeguarding Florida’s Aquatic Environment
Please send a quick online message asking Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to lead the way in safeguarding Florida’s aquatic environment for manatees and other wildlife and for people, too.
Florida’s Land and Water Legacy
Florida voters approved Amendment 1, which will provide funding to help protect rivers, lakes, and springs without any increase in taxes. Save the Manatee Club is part of a coalition of individual volunteers and conservation organizations from across the state who worked to put The Water and Land Conservation Amendment on the ballot in Florida. Get more information on Florida’s Land and Water Legacy and how you can get involved.
Sign the Endangered Species Act Legacy Pledge!
You can help protect the Endangered Species Act (ESA), a safety net for our nation’s wildlife, fish and plants on the brink of extinction. For over 30 years, the ESA has provided critical protections for endangered species and the places where they live. Please sign the Endangered Species Act Legacy Pledge (SMC is a member of the Endangered Species Coalition) and show your support. When various threats arise to the Endangered Species Act in the form of legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives or the Senate or negative administrative actions, the conservation community will be able to take the list of pledge supporters to Members of Congress and let them know that their constituents support strong protections for our nation’s endangered fish, plants and wildlife.
Join the Manatee Sighting Network
Have you seen a manatee in the wild lately? If you live along a river, estuary, canal or coastal area in Florida, you can help provide valuable information to researchers who are tracking manatees. When you spot a manatee, just fill out our simple one-page form.
Register To Vote!
Being an advocate means taking an active part in government. The best way you can do this is register to vote. You can do this online by going to the League of Women Voters or Rock the Vote web sites. It’s easy!
Write a Letter to Your Local Paper
Writing letters to your local newspaper is a very powerful and effective way to voice your position on manatee issues within your community. See a sample letter and get some helpful tips.
You Can Make A Difference: Become Involved and Help Improve the World!
As an individual, you have a voice in governmental processes. When you make your wants and needs known, you can improve the world! When you remain silent, you give your power away to others. No one is too young to get involved. Students can participate by researching issues at the local level. They can write letters, send email, and attend county commission or city council meetings. They can help their community make wise choices about environmental protection.
1. Find Out How State and Federal Government Works
You can find information about your state government. For example, the Florida State Government has a web site called Online Sunshine, which is a guide to the Florida Legislature. You can find out how an idea becomes a law, look up contact information for your legislator, and other interesting facts. You can also look up information about your state’s governor. Florida’s governor is Ron DeSantis, and you can click the following link to find contact information for Governor DeSantis.
You can get information about the federal government by visiting Scholastic’s How Government Works. You can also find your U.S. senators and your U.S. representative, get their contact information, and send them a message.
2. Write Letters or Send Emails to Elected Officials
If you would like to help manatees, you can write a letter or send an email to Florida’s governor to show strong support for manatee protection. Next, you can write your U.S. senator and representative. If you live in Florida, you can also write your state senator and representative! Tell these elected officials why you think it is important to protect manatees and their habitat and to keep other environmental laws strong. Be creative! You can draw pictures, write letters or poems, and send email.
In addition, there are always a number of issues affecting manatees and their habitat that involve local, state and federal governments. You can visit the Take Action page of the Save the Manatee Club website to find current information on these issues.
3. Write Letters or Send An Email to Your School or Local Paper
You can also help educate others by writing a letter to the editor and sending it to your school or community newspaper. Tell them about manatees, why you think it is important to protect them, and how people in your school or community can help.