A banner image with a blue background, seagrass on the bottom, a manatee clip art and the words: March Is Seagrass Awareness Month.

Did you know? Manatees and seagrass communities evolved together, and they share a symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationship. In a healthy ecosystem, free-ranging manatee grazing makes seagrass communities more productive.

Manatee eating eelgrass.
Manatees are herbivores, feeding on both marine and freshwater aquatic vegetation such as seagrass and other submerged, floating, and emergent plants.

Manatees are herbivores and feed on a variety of submerged, emergent, and floating plants… including seagrass! Unfortunately, this critical food source is threatened, nowhere  more so than in the Indian River Lagoon (IRL)—a critical manatee habitat—where a series of human-induced harmful algal blooms have caused the loss of more than 90% of the area’s seagrass biomass. Lack of food in this region has contributed to increased reports of malnourished manatees and unprecedented numbers of manatee deaths.

But there is hope. Habitat restoration projects are underway throughout the state, and there have been some signs that seagrass communities may be rebounding. Everyone can do their part by learning more about seagrass communities and taking action to restore and protect them.

Learn More

  • Read the Press Release dated March 1, 2023: March Is Seagrass Awareness Month
  • Join the Webinar on Wednesday, March 8, 2023: Manatees and Seagrass
    What is seagrass, how does it grow, and why is it so important for manatees? What happens when we lose seagrass? Find out what you can do to help protect aquatic resources.
    Presented by Tiare Fridrich, Save the Manatee Club’s Manatee Biologist
  • Read Our Brochure, Seagrass and Aquatic Vegetation

Donate to Habitat and Restoration Projects

Funds will support efforts like the restoration of filter feeding organisms and selective pilot seagrass restoration projects; aid with logistics and funding for aquatic and aerial surveys to assess the health of manatees and identify the areas in need of critical action; and support seagrass and submerged aquatic vegetation planting projects by our conservation partners.


Small blue manatee silhouette

Check out this short video to learn more about what manatees eat in the wild vs. when they are under human care

Did you know? Manatees can eat 10 – 15% of their body weight in vegetation daily. A 1,000-pound (453-kilogram) manatee, for example, would probably eat between 100 – 150 pounds (45-68 kilograms) of food a day.

What Can You Do?

Square graphic with a blue background and manatee on the right. Text: Seagrass Awareness Month. Seagrass provides food for many different animals, including manatees, and serves as habitat and nursery areas for others.
The more you know! You can find new facts about manatees and seagrass all month on SMC’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

Small blue manatee silhouette