If you live near water frequented by manatees, then listen up!
Current reports from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission stated that as of July 22, there have been a total of 71 manatee deaths caused by boat collisions. This means that we are currently on pace to surpass the 97 manatees that were killed by boats back in 2009!
After working for a few years as an in the water, manatee tour guide for Manatee Tour and Dive in Crystal River, Fl., this news hits very close to home.
Lee County is the leader in the state with a total of 11 boat-related manatee deaths. Volusia and Monroe counties follow closely with seven each.
To help minimize your chance of hurting one of these amazing creatures while you are on the water, be sure to follow all manatee speed zones, try to minimize speed in low light conditions, and keep a good lookout while in areas known to hold high numbers of manatees.