The Importance of Mammals in Florida: A Vital Role – NBC 6 South Florida

Save the Manatees, Save Florida’s Economy: Urgency to Protect the State’s Gentle Giants

Manatees, known for their gentle and peaceful nature, are a species native to Florida and the Caribbean. These large mammals are essential to the Florida environment, indicating the health of its marine ecosystem. As J.P. Brooker, director of the Florida Conservation Program, explains, when manatees suffer, it is a reflection of larger issues within Florida’s environment. Climate change and human pollution are just some factors that can have a significant impact on manatees and other marine life.

Florida’s economy heavily relies on its beaches and marine environment. A healthy marine ecosystem contributes significantly to the state’s GDP. However, in recent years, manatees have faced challenges with increasing mortality rates. Human pollution has been identified as a leading cause of death as it kills sea grass, which is the primary food source for manatees. Despite these challenges, Brooker remains optimistic that with the support of Floridians, manatees can recover.

South Floridians can take several steps to support manatee conservation efforts. They can avoid lawn fertilization during the rainy season and invest in coastal infrastructure to protect manatees and their habitat from human activity. Additionally, they can participate in the electoral process by advocating for clean water initiatives that will benefit not only manatees but also preserve the state’s natural beauty for future generations to enjoy.

It is crucial for Floridians to advocate for re-listing manatees as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. This can be achieved by contacting local representatives and urging action from the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service to take action in protecting manatees and their habitat from harm caused by climate change and other threats.

In conclusion, protecting manatees goes beyond just saving a species; it helps preserve Florida’s natural beauty and overall health of its marine ecosystem that supports its economy. By taking action now through education, advocacy, and conservation efforts, we can help ensure a healthy future for both manatees and Floridians alike

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