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Manatees - Florida's Gentle Giants

Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 12:00AM

Did you know September 7th was International Manatee Day? These gentle giants are fascinating to read about and even cuter up close! Keep reading today’s blog to find out what these famous “sea cows” are all about.

The Florida manatee we’re familiar with—Trichechus manatus—tends to stay close to home, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find them in other southeastern states like Alabama, Georgia or South Carolina, especially during hot summer months! You’ll likely spot them in shallow bays, estuaries and other coastal water systems where they have plenty of access to sunlight and food, like floating hyacinth, water lettuce, turtle grass and more.

Manatee watching from onboard

Manatees prefer shallow waters, so if you’re out on an open lake or ocean you should be fine—but it’s still worth a minute to learn how to spot these gentle giants from onboard!

Before you see its face or body, you’ll probably catch sight of a manatee’s nose, back or tail just above the surface. You’ll want to stay at least 50 feet away while cruising, but if you want to stay and observe, cut your motor and watch quietly to let the manatee swim by. This way you’ll keep the animal safe but won’t miss out on the one-of-a-kind experience from your very own Monterey.

If you want to learn more about manatees or how to keep them safe while out on the water, visit savethemanatee.org.

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