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Manatee season begins in South Florida

Safety tips for boaters to avoid strikes
Posted at 9:13 AM, Nov 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-15 09:13:27-05

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — Tuesday is the official start of manatee season in South Florida. FPL's Manatee Lagoon in Riviera Beach is a haven for manatee aggregations when the water temperatures drop due to the clean water discharge of the neighboring FPL plant.

Manatee season begins in South Florida

The center has refreshed and added new exhibits including a mangrove tank, lionfish tank, and life-sized manatee statues.

Additionally, Manatee Lagoon has added a self-cleaning underwater camera that allows users to see manatees and other marine life.

Zack Greenberg is the senior operations manager for Manatee Lagoon and has reminders for boaters during the manatee season.

Boater safety tips to avoid manatee strikes

Manatee Lagoon's boater safety tips:

  1. A group of manatees is called a herd/aggregation 
  2. Obey speed limits in those safety zones 
  3. Keep on the lookout for manatee “footprints” (circular swirls), plus their snouts coming out of the water to take a breath 
  4. Wear polarized sunglasses to better see into the water 
  5. If you see a manatee, keep your distance and practice passive observation. Look but don’t touch, and definitely don’t feed 
  6. If you see a manatee in distress, call the FWC wildlife hotline at 1-888-404-FWCC