News Releases

Watch for manatees in Santa Fe River

News Release

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Media contact: Karen Parker, 386-758-0525

A pod of Florida manatees has been spotted on the Santa Fe River, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) needs boaters' help to keep these animals safe.

"Water levels on the Santa Fe are extremely low," said Capt. Roy Brown, area supervisor. "We're asking boaters to be extra vigilant when enjoying the river, especially where this pod of manatees has been seen."

The FWC said boaters should scan the water near, and in front of, their vessel for swirls resembling large footprints, a repetitive line of half-moon swirls, a mud trail or manatee snouts or tails breaking the surface.

Boaters can help manatees stay safe by:

  • Wearing polarized sunglasses to improve vision.
  • Using poles, paddles or trolling motors when in close proximity to manatees.
  • Having someone aboard to scan the water for signs of manatees while their vessels are under way.

"If you think you see a manatee, give it plenty of room, because it may not be alone. It may have a calf or be traveling with other manatees," Brown said.

For more information about manatees, visit MyFWC.com/Manatee.



FWC Facts:
Anyone suspected of boating under the influence must submit to sobriety tests and a physical or chemical test to determine blood- or breath-alcohol content.

Learn More at AskFWC