This July 4th, Help a Manatee –
Club Offers Public Awareness Signs & Banners, Free
Save the Manatee Club reminds the Florida boating community to prepare to participate in manatee safety this busy July 4th holiday and beyond. The Club offers a variety of free public awareness materials to protect the endangered marine mammals.
Waterproof banners are free to Florida boaters. These bright, bold yellow banners act as cautionary signs and alert other boaters when manatees are present in the area with the easy-to-see directive, “Please Slow, Manatees Below.” Free yellow dock signs for shoreline property owners in Florida, boating decals, and new waterproof waterway cards containing safe boating information are also available from the Club. All provide the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) hotline number (1-888-404-3922) for reporting manatee injuries, deaths, or harassment.
Cathie and Randy Bieber enjoy cruising from Palm Beach to Miami for weekend getaways aboard their 44-foot boat. They recently contacted the Club for a yellow boating banner. “This banner will be a great asset, and we’ll display it frequently,” said Cathie. “We always keep a sharp eye out when cruising on the Intracoastal for our friends, the manatees. We are very excited to have this opportunity to help these peaceful, gentle giants.”
Save the Manatee Club also offers free, family-friendly public awareness manatee signs and posters for sites where human/manatee interactions are a problem. These materials have been distributed around Florida to state, municipal, and county parks; marinas; and other places where harassment of manatees is a concern.
Dr. Katie Tripp, Director of Science and Conservation for Save the Manatee Club, says the public awareness signage combined with responsible boating and “manatee manners” can save manatee lives. “Manatees rely on knowledgeable, thoughtful boaters and waterway users for their protection from injury, harassment, or death. Our organization can’t fully protect manatees or their aquatic habitat without the support of the boating community. Manatee-safe boating is paramount during busy holidays when more boats are out and the risks to manatees are increased.”
The free signs, banners, decals, posters, and waterway cards can be obtained by contacting Save the Manatee Club via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, by regular mail at 500 N. Maitland Ave., Maitland, FL 32751, or by calling toll free at 1-800-432-JOIN (5646). “Manatee Protection Tips for Boaters” can be found on the Club’s website at http://www.savethemanatee.org/boatertips.htm.
For more information on manatees, the Adopt-A-Manatee® program, or to sign up for the Club’s free e-newsletter, visit the Club’s website at www.savethemanatee.org.