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Among the manatees rescued this year from Florida waters were 13 orphaned calves. At least two ended up at a SeaWorld rehabilitation center, where they faced a long recovery. Photo by Amy Green
Environment

FWC to seek boost in manatee funding, including expanded rescue and rehabilitation efforts


The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is requesting $6.8 million for restoration and rescue efforts as a record 968 manatees have died this year in the state. Poor water quality in the Indian River Lagoon has led to harmful algae blooms and a widespread loss of seagrass. That caused manatees there for warmth in the winter to starve. Brevard County State Representative Thad Altman spelled out the “death spiral” at a committee hearing Tuesday morning. “Restoration is not working,” he said, “because the water quality that killed the seagrasses to begin with is still there. We literally have a catastrophe on our hands.” The new funding request includes more than $3.6 million to expand rescue and rehabilitation efforts. Melissa Tucker, …
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