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Rubio, Congressional Leaders Want Indian River Lagoon Help On Behalf Of Ailing Manatees

Credit: David Hinkle  USFWS
Credit: David Hinkle USFWS

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio is joining with 10 members of the state’s congressional delegation to call for more action on behalf of the state’s ailing manatees. 

They want to address on-going harmful algae blooms in the Indian River Lagoon that have left the manatees starving for food.

Midway through 2021, some 841 manatees are dead in Florida, the most ever recorded in a single year. More than half of those fatalities are in the troubled Indian River Lagoon. 

The lagoon is one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the country, but it has been plagued by harmful algae blooms that have killed off its seagrass, the manatee’s primary food.

Rubio and the other congressional leaders want the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to make federal funds available to address the blooms. 

In a letter, the congressional leaders describe the manatee die-off as one of the worst mass mortality events ever to affect manatees in Florida. 

The letter is signed by several members of central Florida’s congressional delegation -- Reps. Michael Waltz, Stephanie Murphy, Bill Posey and Darren Soto. 

Amy Green covered the environment for WMFE until 2023. Her work included the 2020 podcast DRAINED.
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