Brush Up On Good Manatee Manners
For further information, contact:
Director of Public Relations
Save the Manatee Club
Phone: (407) 539-0990
For Immediate Release: May 19, 2016
Note: A high resolution jpeg (300 dpi) image of the Club’s yellow boating banner is available upon request.
The summer season has arrived, and the boating season is getting busier. Save the Manatee Club encourages the boating public to keep it safe on the water for all, including Florida’s abundant wildlife.
For the manatee’s protection, boaters are urged to follow all posted boat speed regulations, slow down if manatees are in the vicinity, and keep to deep water channels when possible as manatees often gravitate toward shallow water areas. If manatees are spotted while swimming, snorkeling, or diving, remember to look but don’t touch and avoid excess noise and splashing. Practice passive observation and observe manatees from above water and from a distance. Resist the urge to feed manatees or give them water. Do not enter designated manatee sanctuaries for any reason. Stash any trash, and discard monofilament line, hooks and other trash properly.
Save the Manatee Club offers a variety of free public awareness materials to boaters and waterfront property owners as well as outdoor signage for local and state parks, boat ramps, and marinas. This includes the Club’s family-friendly “Buddy” manatee sign, which is distributed to sites around Florida where human/manatee interactions are a problem. The sign states, “You can look, but please don’t touch, chase, feed, or give water to us.”
Chris Grice, who has a 70-foot dock on a residential canal in the Keys, requested the Club’s “Buddy” sign to help educate vacationers in the area about “manatee manners.”
“My wife and I try to live a life where we reflect a positive example to our children,” said Grice. “We’ve explained to them that not everyone is informed of the laws or rules when it comes to manatees. So, we decided to do our part by displaying a sign that educates others and hope they do the right thing while enjoying the local manatees. Our family appreciates the great sign that Save the Manatee Club sent us.”
Other free signage from the Club include bright yellow metal docks signs, vinyl boating banners, waterproof manatee protection tips cards, and boat decals featuring the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s hotline number for reporting dead, orphaned, sick, or injured manatees, or a manatee who is being harassed. The public is advised to call 1-888-404-FWCC (3922) or #FWC or *FWC on cellular phones, or VHF Channel 16 on marine radios, or send a text message to Tip@MyFWC.com.
Download the free Manatee Alert App for iPhones and iPads, which notifies boaters when they are approaching manatee speed zones and helps facilitate the reporting of injured manatees and manatee harassment. Also view the Club’s animated boating video, “Share the Waterway,” for more tips.
The free public awareness materials are available by contacting Save the Manatee Club via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling toll free at 1-800-432-JOIN (5646).