Statement on Funding for Manatee Rescue Programs and Habitat Restoration

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Statement from Patrick Rose, Aquatic Biologist and Executive Director of Save the Manatee Club, on the Commitment by Florida Governor DeSantis of Historic State Funding for Manatee Rescue Programs and Habitat Restoration:

“I am exceedingly grateful for Governor DeSantis’ commitment of more than $30 million in the Fiscal Year 2022–23 budget to enhance and expand manatee rescue and rehabilitation efforts and provide habitat restoration for areas where manatees are highly concentrated. Due to the unprecedented severity of the ongoing Unusual Mortality Event—in which more than 1,600 manatees have died statewide over the last 16 months—these and additional extraordinary measures are called for in order to protect manatees and their critical habitat.

“While Florida’s decades-long battle with degraded water quality and a series of harmful algal blooms was given a shot in the arm this legislative session, we must insist that the State of Florida and the Environmental Protection Agency join forces to ensure that improved water quality standards are set and met if we are going to restore these aquatic ecosystems for the long-term future.”

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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.

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