Manatees no longer endangered
This is Paul Janensch with a Treasure Coast Essay about manatees. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has removed the gentle mammals from the endangered species list and now designates them as threatened. In 2016, observers counted a record 6,600 manatees in Florida waters. That’s not the total population – just those that could be seen. It’s still good news. Conservation of the manatees’ coastal habitats gets the credit. So does more care by power boaters. But let’s not be complacent. Pollution of the Indian River Lagoon is still killing manatees. So are collisions with watercraft, the leading known cause of manatee deaths in 2016. Boaters, please remember to slow down in manatee zones and watch for slick spots on the surface made by manatees. I’m Paul Janensch.