Manatee Season Begins in Fort Lauderdale Area

Picture of Author: Rich Barnhart

Author: Rich Barnhart

Season in Broward County runs November 15th to March 31st

Manatee Season in Fort LauderdaleJust like the many residents of our northern states that migrate to South Florida, the manatees have begun their annual migration. Manatee season started yesterday, meaning slower speeds in our inland waterways and opportunities for residents and visitors to experience encounters with one of our favorite marine mammals. The season runs from November 15th to March 31st every year.

The bad news is that manatees in Florida have had a rough year and have set a new mortality record in 2013. There are various causes for this, but many of the manatee deaths can be attributed to loss of sea grass on the east coast and red tide on the west coast. The lack of sea grass in Brevard County has many wondering if some of the manatee deaths in that part of Florida are linked to manatees searching for other food sources and consuming unknown contaminants. Still, others die from natural causes, boat strikes and cold stress.

What can you do to help?

Fortunately we have state and local agencies, as well as private non-profits who are dedicated to manatee conservation, but they need the public’s help to be successful.

  • Boaters are responsible for far too many manatee deaths every year. Please be mindful of the slow speed zones and keep an eye out for manatees while cruising our inland waterways and along the beaches. For a detailed description of the local manatee zones and boating regulations see the Broward County Manatee Protection Plan
  • Join the Manatee Sighting Network. When you see a manatee, take pictures if possible and then fill out a simple online form. Good manatee protection depends on reliable reporting of their locations and daily movements.
  • Adopt a Manatee – Funds from this program go directly to help protect manatees and their habitat. By The Sea Realty adopted Chessie last year, an elusive manatee who was given his name when he was rescued from the cold waters of Chesapeake Bay in 1994. Have you seen Chessie lately? Please let us know.

Other Resources



Blog Author:

Rich Barnhart

Rich is the broker and owner of By The Sea Realty and a frequent contributor to the company's real estate blog.

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