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Monday, December 01, 2003

Open Letter to the Legislature, State of Florida 

Protect manatee habitat

If you have visited the Florida gulf coast recently you have no doubt heard of the plight of our large, gentle, shore line neighbor the manatee. The manatee seeks shelter from the winter cold of the gulf waters within the warm rivers and springs of the inner coastal waterways. Unfortunately that sheltering habit, more often than not leads to increased association with humans and disaster. The manatee is too large and far-in-a-way too slow to react to the threat from, nor can it escape the churning propeller blades of a pleasure boat. The result often is that the manatee is maimed or killed. In recent years new laws controlling boat speeds in "no wake" zones have helped reduce the number of injuries. Unfortunately pressure from boaters, boat manufacturers and occasional indifference among lawmakers has begun to erode the progress. A decision to down grade the manatee from the endangered list has been temporarily postponed in part because of the renewed disregard for existing law.

It is now time to re-impress upon Floridians, tourists, developers and the legislature that no wake zones must be enforced and expanded. The safety of the manatee is not optional. The indigenous creatures are not a "pest" as some have claimed, rather they are our heritage. Editor

Please read the article, Animal group from the St Pete Times for more information and use a copy of this post to contact your legislator through the Contact Congress link in the sidebar You may reach Governor Bush @ "Governor Bush"
The Governor's Office in Tallahassee
The Capitol
Tallahassee, Fl. 32399
Phone: 850/488/7146
Fax: 850-487-0801


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