Manatee Awareness Month: How to help save sea cows

ORLANDO, Fla. — It’s officially Manatee Awareness Month, and Florida wildlife officials are asking for your help to protect the sea cows.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials said November is the time of year when manatees start traveling into warm water sites across the state, including springs and power plant discharge areas.


While manatees are large, officials say they’re hard to see in the water. That’s why it’s important to follow all manatee protection zones, look out while boating, wear polarized glasses and always give them space.

During the colder months, wildlife officials said seasonal manatee zones require boaters to slow down in certain areas to prevent manatees from being injured or killed by boaters.

Read: Manatee ‘chases’ alligator as both swim in Florida state park

Manatee protection zones are marked by waterway signs and maps of manatee protection zones are available online at MyFWC.com/Manatee by clicking on “Data and Maps.”

As a protected species, it is illegal to feed, harass, disturb or harm manatees.

Read: Video shows manatee borrowing child’s surfboard at Florida beach

You can report injured, distressed, sick or dead manatees to the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or by dialing #FWC or *FWC on a cellphone so trained responders can assist.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.