Attention Citrus County Residents: Manatees in Kings
Bay Need Your Voice
calf attempts to surface to breathe and is held back by a diver
-- a clear example of manatee harassment. (Photo courtesy of
As many of you already know, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service)
is undertaking rulemaking efforts which will hopefully make Kings Bay safer
for manatees by better protecting them from harassment. The time is right
to lend support to the Service to greatly improve the quality of habitat
for manatees in Kings Bay, but without your voice we're afraid the new
rules simply won't be strong enough. There are two things you can do to
These are two very important actions you can take for manatees.
Please look for future alerts as well since your support as a Citrus County
resident will be critical to ensuring that these protections are put in
place. Once the Service releases a draft rule for Kings Bay in 2011, we
will be contacting you again to submit your public comments. Please feel
free to e-mail me at email@example.com
or call me at 407-539-0990 with any questions or concerns.
- Effective November 15th, 2010, the entire
bay became a temporary manatee refuge under an emergency rule. Click here
to get more information. The Service is currently working to
implement a more permanent rule for Kings Bay, and Service biologists are
crafting this rule as we speak. Although there has not been a formally
noticed public comment period for this rulemaking, if you have specific recommendations you would like to submit to the Service for their consideration (i.e. a no touch rule, a greater number of larger sanctuaries, elimination of the summer water sports zone), you can submit your comments through an online system at
http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments to Docket No. [FWS–R4–ES–2010–0079].
Eliminating the summer high-speed zone
in Kings Bay is absolutely essential for protecting manatees from high
speed collisions, such as the one that occurred on July 4th, 2007, when
a mother manatee was struck inside the watersports zone and suffered
for eight hours before eventually dying from her severe injuries. The
Crystal River City Council has been hearing from members of the public
who want this watersports area to continue, despite the risk it poses
to manatees, so now they need to hear from you on this matter that
really is the difference between life or death for Kings Bay's
manatees. Please e-mail or call the members of the Crystal River City
Council and tell them that you want them to
recommend to the Service that this extremely dangerous high-speed zone
be permanently removed from the bay. If you live within the
city limits of Crystal River, be sure to include your address when the
contacting the city council.
(Photo courtesy of Tracy Colson)
Click here to see a video on the high-speed zone
Warning: Images of the wounded manatee near the end of the
video are graphic.
Making sure that the Service "gets it right" for manatees in Kings Bay is
my top priority, but help from our members and supporters in Citrus County
is essential for success. Please pass this message on to any of your
friends and neighbors who would be willing to help.
Thanks in advance for your action on this critically important issue.
Katie Tripp, Ph.D.
Director of Science and Conservation
Save the Manatee Club