Save the Manatee Club Statement on Hurricane Idalia

Two photos showing stranding after a storm. The top photo shows a manatee stranded out of water in mud. The bottom photo shows a manatee in a small pond that was accessible due to flooding, but does not connect to other waterways after the water has receded.

August 30, 2023

Save the Manatee Club (SMC), alongside our partners from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership, is actively monitoring the aftermath of Hurricane Idalia. As Florida natives, manatees are well-adapted to the extreme weather events in our state. However, they do face significant risk during powerful storms. Storm surges can cause manatees to go far inland to areas they would not normally inhabit, where they can become trapped when the water recedes. Even in areas that are typical manatee habitat, such as Tampa Bay, Crystal River, and the Big Bend region, waters that recede to irregularly low levels can also leave manatees stranded.

“SMC will be in communication with our partners in the Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership to ensure that any injured or stranded manatees are rescued and rehabilitated after catastrophic storms. Once it is safe to do so, we also encourage residents to keep an eye on local bodies of water and look for stranded manatees. Stranded, injured, or dead manatees, as well as lone manatee calves, should be immediately reported to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission by calling 1-888-404-FWCC (3922),” says Patrick Rose, Aquatic Biologist and Executive Director of Save the Manatee Club.

For manatees in distress in Georgia, citizens can call the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Conservation Section coastal office at 1-800-2-SAVE-ME (1-800-272-8363) or 1-800-241-4113. South Carolina residents should call the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources hotline at 1-800-922-5431 to report manatees in need of help.

Click here to watch Save the Manatee’s video about Manatees and Hurricanes >>

For inquiries, please email or call 407-539-0990.

More Recent News

Bob And Jimmy

Honoring the life and legacy of Save the Manatee Club’s Friend and Co-Founder, Bob Graham

Bob Graham, former US Senator and Florida Governor, was a tireless advocate for manatees and a champion for environmental conservation. His dedication to safeguarding manatees and their habitats has left a lasting mark on conservation efforts.

SMC Logo

A Brief Statement On Manatee Romeo

Save the Manatee Club is closely monitoring the situation regarding the care of manatees at the Miami Seaquarium.

Manatees Seagrass Dschrichte Stmc

Statement on Funding for Manatee Rescue Programs and Habitat Restoration

“These and additional extraordinary measures are called for in order to protect manatees and their critical habitat.”