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Adopt-A-Manatee® This Valentine’s Day

Brutus is one of the largest manatees to visit Blue Spring State Park in the winter. He is identified by his scar patterns.
Brutus is one of the largest manatees to visit Blue Spring State Park in the winter. He is identified by his scar patterns.

Symbolic adoptions of real-life manatees from Save the Manatee Club can help address seagrass loss and prevent starvation-related manatee deaths

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—January 31, 2022
Contact: media@savethemanatee.org, 407-539-0990

MAITLAND, FL—Save the Manatee Club, the world’s leading manatee conservation organization, is inviting members of the public to do their part to protect manatees and their habitat by symbolically adopting a real, living manatee.

Florida manatees can grow to an average weight of between 800-1,200 pounds and can eat up to 10-15% of their weight in vegetation each day. As the only herbivorous marine mammals, they spend much of their time grazing on seagrass and other aquatic plant matter. Among the 30 manatees available as part of Save the Manatee Club’s Adopt-A-Manatee program, “Brutus” is one of the largest. He has been a winter visitor at Blue Spring State Park for over 40 years and weighs nearly 1,900 pounds.  

Unfortunately, catastrophic seagrass loss caused by a series of human-induced harmful algae blooms in the Indian River Lagoon—a crucial cold weather manatee habitat on Florida’s east coast—has contributed to increased reports of malnourished manatees and unprecedented numbers of starvation-related manatee deaths. Funds from the Adopt-A-Manatee program directly support Save the Manatee Club’s work to address this ongoing mortality crisis from all angles by supporting:

  • Emergency rescue and rehabilitation efforts—especially crucial at this time as many more manatee rescues than normal are anticipated for the 2021-2022 winter season. Sick, injured, or orphaned manatees should be immediately reported to the FWC at 1-888-404-FWCC (3922).
  • Starvation prevention through advocacy for the provision of supplemental food to manatees, through the joint Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) program announced in December 2021. Save the Manatee Club has also pledged funds to help provide food to malnourished manatees that are rescued and undergoing treatment at rehabilitation facilities.
  • Additional efforts in collaboration with a network of partners aimed at reducing pollution that leads to seagrass loss and restoring seagrass habitat.

“Excessive nitrogen pollution is a growing threat to all seagrass communities and the species that rely on them, such as manatees, dolphins, fish, and birds,” said Patrick Rose, Executive Director and Aquatic Biologist for Save the Manatee Club, “Ultimately, we must stop the cycle of Harmful Algal Blooms that led to the loss of seagrasses in the first place: uncontrolled growth and pollution from our growing human population. It’s not an easy or quick fix, but it can and must be done.” 

Adoptions start at $25 and include a personalized adoption certificate, photo and biography of the chosen manatee, and a one-year Save the Manatee Club membership that includes a newsletter with updates on the adopted manatee. Please order by February 6th for Valentine’s Day arrival by mail. For a limited time, Valentine’s Day orders also include a Save the Manatee Club zipper pull. To Adopt-A-Manatee, visit savethemanatee.org/adopt or call 1-800-432-JOIN (5646).

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Save the Manatee Club, established in 1981 by the late renowned singer-songwriter, author, and entrepreneur Jimmy Buffett, along with late former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham, is dedicated to safeguarding manatees and preserving their aquatic habitat. For more information about manatees and the Club’s efforts, visit savethemanatee.org or call 1-800-432-JOIN (5646).

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