A Message Regarding Coronavirus

To Save the Manatee Club Members and Supporters:

Date: August 25, 2020

As I reflect on the many challenges facing man and manatees during the COVID-19 pandemic, I am reminded more than ever just how fortunate I am to be able to dedicate my life’s work to helping make this world a better place for manatees and aquatic ecosystems. Toward that end, I am sobered by the reality that all the important goings-on in our lives must be tempered by the demands of this pandemic. Our methods to accomplish our mission to protect manatees have been severely challenged by the need to adjust our everyday lives to accommodate safety concerns in response to the coronavirus.

Thanks to your continued support and trust, Save the Manatee Club and our committed manatee partners are rising to the occasion in the face of growing difficulties. In the midst of the pandemic we have seen a troubling increase in the number of very young manatees dying in certain regions of the state. Meanwhile, a large number of manatees have died without the usual necropsies being performed, leaving the cause of their death a mystery. Although efforts to perform necropsies have suffered due to safety constraints, I am grateful to report that our manatee rescue partners remained very active even during the worst times of this year. The news in this regard is bittersweet, and I am torn in reporting that 71 sick or injured manatees have been rescued so far in 2020. Of those manatees that were rescued, 23 continue to be cared for by Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership (MRP) members. On the brighter side I am excited to report that 33 manatees have been nursed back to health and have already been successfully returned to the wild, including a mother manatee named BaBa and her new calf Jaetay, who was born in a rehabilitation facility after his mother’s rescue.

Our fervent hope is that as the pandemic remains with us that our many MRP partners will have the staffing and monetary resources to continue to rescue and medically treat every manatee that needs to be helped. The stark, sad reality is that the longer this crisis endures, the more difficult it will be to keep up in the face of continuing economic hardships among our many selfless manatee partners. Save the Manatee Club, thanks to your continuing support, is committed to doing all that we can to ensure that no manatee goes uncared for in their time of need.

To do this it will require making our voices heard when the Florida Legislature and the United States Congress and the government agencies under their purview are faced with making severe cuts to their existing budgets due to revenue shortfalls associated with the lingering pandemic.

If you have not done so already, please be sure to sign up for our Action Alert Network and share those alerts with your friends and family so that you will be ready when we need you to reach out to these lawmakers to urge them to keep vital funding in place for manatee rescues. And just as important, to ensure the continued support for the medical treatments necessary to restore them to good health for their safe return to the wild. Sign up at savethemanatee.org/action.

Memberships, donations, and tributes are still being processed, and our staff is still available by phone and email during regular hours. The Manatee Store, our online gift catalog, is still accepting orders. Because of the COVID pandemic, our shipping orders are only going out periodically.

Thank you for your support for manatee protection.

Patrick M. Rose, Executive Director
Save the Manatee Club