If boating is in your plan for the extended Labor Day weekend, Save the Manatee Club asks you to please think of the well-being of the public, imperiled manatees, and other aquatic wildlife by putting safety first.
The Labor Day holiday is typically a busy boating weekend on Florida’s waterways. Unfortunately, manatees continue to suffer record-breaking injuries and deaths from watercraft-related incidents, with more than 100 manatees having been killed ahead of Labor Day this year. Save the Manatee Club recognizes that most boaters are responsible, and we encourage the boating community to please be vigilant of manatees, go slow in manatee habitat, and obey all posted speed regulations, which is the best way to reduce the risk of watercraft-related manatee injuries and deaths.
To increase boater awareness and help keep manatees safe, Save the Manatee Club has free boating banners, public awareness signs for shoreline property owners, posters, decals, and other materials. Requesting the materials from the Club is a great way to support and celebrate the conservation of manatees and their habitat now and during International Manatee Day on September 7th.
“Conscientious boaters play a pivotal role in safeguarding manatees and protecting our shared aquatic habitat, which is why the Club produces and distributes numerous free boater resources,” says Patrick Rose, aquatic biologist and Executive Director of Save the Manatee Club.
The Club’s free materials include bright yellow public awareness banners for Florida boaters with the message “Please Slow, Manatees Below,” and a boater safety kit that contains a weatherproof boat decal with a number for reporting injured manatees as well as a waterproof card with tips for boating safely with manatees.
“With increased public and boater awareness, strategic enforcement of existing boating regulations, and the adoption of additional protective measures where needed, manatee deaths and injuries from boat strikes can be reduced,” says Rose.
Send requests for the Club’s free waterway signage, boating banners, and boater safety kit with boat decal and waterway tips card via email to email@example.com or by calling toll free at 1-800-432-JOIN (5646).
For those out on the water for the last holiday weekend of the summer boating season, remember that if you spot an injured, dead, tagged, or orphaned manatee, or a manatee who is being harassed, please call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) hotline number at 1-888-404-FWCC (3922) or use VHF Channel 16 on marine radios.
Save the Manatee Club was founded in 1981 by former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham and singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett. The Club’s mission is to protect manatees and their habitat. Save the Manatee Club, an international 501(c)(3) nonprofit, has educated millions around the world about imperiled manatees and the threats to their long-term survival.
For more information on manatees, the Adopt-A-Manatee® program, and the International Rescue Fund, visit savethemanatee.org or call 1-800-432-JOIN (5646). Also, look for “Manatee Protection Tips for Boaters” and other resources at savethemanatee.org/boatertips.