Over a Thousand Manatees Died in 2021
November is Manatee Awareness Month, which helps raise awareness for manatees and conservation efforts to protect them. Unfortunately, last year was tragic for the Florida manatee. In 2021 alone, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported at least 1,000 manatee deaths. Even though manatees don’t have any real predators, they are dying at an alarming rate. But why?
The answer: loss of seagrass.
The Florida manatee, also known as the West Indian manatee, relies on seagrass as a main source of food. Sadly, the abundance of seagrass in Florida has declined significantly over the years. Wastewater discharge and fertilizer runoff have polluted the waters, causing seagrass to die off. As a result, manatees are dying of starvation. This is absolutely devastating, but you can help.
Manatee Awareness Month: Here’s How You Can Help
November is Manatee Awareness Month, which is an entire month dedicated to the conservation of these gentle giants. As the month of November comes to a close, it’s important to remember manatees in your wildlife conservation efforts throughout the year. Here’s how you can help save the Florida manatee.
Save the Manatee Club was founded in 1981 with the sole purpose to help protect manatees and their habitat. Even though the nonprofit organization has several ways in which individuals can help support its cause, one of the most popular is the Adopt-A-Manatee program. Adoptions start at $25 and you can choose from over 30 manatees to adopt. The proceeds will help fund rescue, rehabilitation, research, education, and advocacy efforts, which are essential to the survival of everyone’s favorite sea cow.
Donate to the Emergency Rescue Fund
Save the Manatee Club also operates the Emergency Rescue Fund. The Emergency Rescue Fund cares for, rescues, and rehabs sick, injured, and orphaned manatees. Your donation will help provide the resources necessary to ensure that this program will continue operation.
Manatee Gourmet Coffee was founded with the intention to help support manatees and their habitats. The brand sells over ten blends of coffee, which are all made from 100% Arabica beans. Manatee Gourmet Coffee donates to organizations that support the conservation of manatees, including Save the Manatee Club and Mote Marine Laboratory. So, your next cup of coffee could actually help support manatees!
Signup for a 5K
Every year, Save the Manatee 5K hosts a virtual event in which 100% of the proceeds are donated to Save the Manatee Club. Over 2,000 individuals from around the world participate in the 5K each year. Since the event is virtual, you have the flexibility to complete the race on your own time and at any location. In addition, participants have the option to run, bike, hike, swim, and even kayak to complete the race. However, the only stipulation is that you should complete the 5K within in the year you registered.
Shop Manatee Merchandise
In addition to adoptions, Save the Manatee Club also has an online shop complete with manatee merchandise. The Manatee Store has several categories to shop from, including apparel, books, calendars, car accessories, garden, office, and more. Whether you’re looking for a gift idea for the holidays or something special for yourself, be sure to check out this online shop.
Help Save the Manatee
Even though Manatee Awareness Month is coming to an end, you can still help support the conservation of the West Indian manatee. Whether you buy coffee, donate to the Emergency Rescue Fund, or shop manatee merchandise, your contribution will help.
To conclude, manatees are protected under the Endangered Species Act and play an important role in maintaining vegetation that grows in Florida waterways. For more information on these gentle giants and conservation efforts in place to help save them, check out the resources below.