News

March Is For Manatee Appreciation, Seagrass Awareness

The Club produces bright yellow, waterproof boating banners and provides them to Florida boaters to help warn other boaters when manatees are sighted in the area. By carrying the “Please Slow Manatees Below” banner in motor boats, kayaks, and canoes, it becomes easier to alert other boaters to the presence of manatees.
The Club produces bright yellow, waterproof boating banners and provides them to Florida boaters to help warn other boaters when manatees are sighted in the area. By carrying the “Please Slow Manatees Below” banner in motor boats, kayaks, and canoes, it becomes easier to alert other boaters to the presence of manatees.

By Alex Russell, Director of Web Development and Office Logistics

While every day is a good day to celebrate manatees, there is a unique power to dedicated awareness days and months. These occasions provide an opportunity to spotlight critical issues and initiate conversations which help inspire change. March in particular is a wonderful time to celebrate manatees as it is Seagrass Awareness Month and also includes Manatee Appreciation Day, which is observed on the last Wednesday of the month.

The month-long dedication to seagrasses aims to raise awareness about their crucial role in supporting diverse wildlife and ecosystems. Healthy seagrass communities are vital for manatees, as they rely on them for food. A decline in seagrass abundance poses a significant threat to manatees, as highlighted by the devastating Unusual Mortality Event in the Indian River Lagoon, which led to the tragic starvation of numerous manatees.

Manatee Appreciation Day, which falls on March 27 this year, is not just a day to appreciate all things manatee, but also to acknowledge the challenges these gentle giants face, from watercraft collisions to harassment to habitat loss and beyond. The day serves as a reminder for us to remain aware of the challenges and take steps to protect manatees.

You can support manatee conservation efforts in March by joining our webinar, engaging in limited-edition partnerships, attending in-person events, or accessing educational content on our platforms. Stay updated on all activities by subscribing to our calendar at savethemanatee.org/events. Additionally, we encourage you to take further steps to raise awareness within your own community. Let’s use these March opportunities to get acquainted with seagrasses and show some love to our manatee friends! Awareness is the first step, and your actions will make a difference. Use the following ideas to get started.

  • Distribute Materials: Sharing resources such as brochures, rack cards, and flyers is a powerful way to raise awareness about manatee protection and conservation within your community. These materials serve as educational tools, providing valuable information about the challenges facing manatees and the importance of their conservation while empowering others to take action to protect these gentle marine mammals. Some materials are available on-demand at savethemanatee.org/materials, but you can also contact our office to request physical copies at no cost to you.
  • Reach Out: Writing letters to the editor of local newspapers or engaging with community groups are effective ways to amplify your passion for manatees and advocate for their protection. By sharing personal stories, insights, and facts about manatees, you can enlighten and inspire others to join the cause for their conservation. Your influence within the community sparks meaningful conversations and actions that contribute to the preservation of manatee habitat.
  • Social Media: Social media platforms offer an immense opportunity to reach a broad audience and engage with individuals passionate about environmental conservation. Sharing, participating in, or tagging others in posts amplifies our reach, spreading valuable information to a wider audience. You can share our posts or get creative and find innovative ways to spread the word about manatees.
  • Support: You can support our cause through donations, our Adopt-A-Manatee® program, or shop for manatee-themed merchandise in our store. Every action, no matter how small, makes a tangible impact in ensuring a brighter future for imperiled manatees and their aquatic habitat.

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