Photo by NOAA on Unsplash

What exactly has been going on in Florida with over 1,066 manatee deaths in 2021?

Simply stated, they’re starving from the alarming death of our seagrass across the state. Just in the Indian River Lagoon alone, there has been a 90% loss.

Our Surfrider Blue Water Task Forces have been hard at work across the state including along the Space Coast Chapter with our partners at the FDEP and Marine Resource Council to alert our legislators and public of the issue.

Seagrass is the habitat, food, nursery, and filter for so many of our marine species and it’s being alarmingly lost across Florida and the globe. The grass simply cannot survive the damaging impacts of poor water quality and loss of sunlight. Chronic issues of harmful algal blooms, overdevelopment, eutrophication, stormwater runooff, sewage and septic runoff requires a multi-prong, aggressive, statewide approach. Read more here.

Photo by Martin Behrendt on Unsplash

This 2021 Unusual Mortality Event of manatees is being closely monitored as Florida enters the dangerous winter months of 2022 for these warm-blooded gentle creatures. You can watch the unprecedented measures being taken by rescuers across the state including the FWC here.

In the 2022 Florida Legislature, bills have been introduced in the attempt to authorize mitigation banking for seagrass and other marine resources on sovereign submerged lands (SSL). Surfrider Foundation and many of our coalition partners are deeply concerned about any removal of seagrass habitat for marine species and water quality. Read more here.

This is Florida’s canary in an (aquatic) coal mine.

The time is now to address our water quality issues with Legislative action!

NOTE: IT IS ILLEGAL TO FEED MANATEES!

TO REPORT A SICK, INJURED, DEAD, OR TAGGED MANATEE

Call FWC’s Wildlife Alert Toll-Free Number: 1-888-404-FWCC (1-888-404-3922), press “7” to speak with an operator.

Cellular phone customers: *FWC or #FWC