Endangered Florida Manatee The St. Petersburg Times is reporting, “Kings Bay, famed as the one place in Florida where humans can swim with and even touch the manatees, is facing a renewed battle over how much protection for manatees is too much. That argument has been going on there since Jacques Cousteau featured Kings Bay’s manatees in his 1972 documentary Forgotten Mermaids“. The Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostrus) is a gentle, slow moving aquatic relative of the elephant and is listed as “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act and on the IUCN Red List. The Defenders of Wildlife reports, “Threats to manatees include destruction and degradation of their coastal and freshwater habitat. The leading known cause of death is by boat strikes; propellers and hulls inflict serious or mortal wounds. Most manatees have a pattern of scars on their backs or tails after surviving collisions with boats. Scientists use these patterns to identify individuals. Manatees are also vulnerable to cold water. They have also been found crushed or drowned in flood-control gates and suffer harm from exposure to toxic red tide.”
Protecting Endangered Manatees Is Against the Bible??? The Citrus County Tea Party Patriots are against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service placing boating and other activity restrictions near Crystal River, Florida to protect the Florida Manatee. The USFWS wants to eliminate the “summer water sports zone” where high-speed boats are allowed plus establish a permanent sanctuary for the Florida Manatee. Edna Mattos, leader of the group, and Barbara Bartlett, a member, provided reasons the Citrus County Tea Party Patriots should be able to do what they want, how they want, when they want, and where they want, regardless of the consequences to habitat, heritage, history, ecosystems, wildlife, or the consideration of other people. No mention of Christian stewardship of God’s Creation on this list!
a) “We cannot elevate nature above people” because “that’s against the Bible and the Bill of Rights”.
b) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has no business sticking its nose into Citrus County.
c) The new regulations will be bad for the local economy.
d) The new regulations will erode private property rights along the waterfront.
e) This all ties to Agenda 21 of the United Nations to impose world government.
f) Agenda 21 of the United Nations is designed “to make humans into livestock”.
g) U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service aim is to “control the fish and wildlife, in addition to the use of the land that surrounds this area, and the people that live here and visit”.
h) “If some of these environmental movements had been around in the days of the dinosaurs, we’d be living in Jurassic Park now.”
Tea Party “Dead Wrong” Pat Rose of the Save the Manatee Club says people whose property sits on a manatee sanctuary – where boat traffic is not allowed – may have to get stickers on their boats allowing them exclusive access, but that’s it, he said. “I don’t know of a more dangerous place for manatees in the summer”. The St. Petersburg Times notes, “When the first sanctuary rules were put in place in 1980, there were about 100 manatees there. Now federal officials estimate that more than 550 manatees use the bay year-round, and in the winter more than 100,000 people show up in Crystal River to see them”. Also, regarding manatees being killed by boats, “But of the 16 boat-related deaths that have occurred in Kings Bay, 13 happened in the past decade, and half of those were in the summer”.
Florida Manatee Footage of the Florida Manatee courtesy of the USGS Biological Resources Divison.