Simple Ways to Help Protect the Ocean’s Most Gentle Creature, the Manatee

These gentle manatees are the ocean’s most lovable and vulnerable creatures. (©Animals_Landscape/Shutterstock)

By Jennifer McKee

Learn more about what is possibly the world’s most gentle creature on March 31, Manatee Appreciation Day.

The Save the Manatee Club is hosting on online festival with videos, Q&A discussions with experts, quizzes and much more to celebrate the gentle “sea cow,” herbivores who help maintain aquatic ecosystems while grazing on plants to maintain their average body weight of 800-1,200 pounds.

Learn about what people are doing to protect manatees, the animals’ migration patterns and what steps you can take to help save these beautiful creatures.

According to the organization, more than 41 percent of manatee deaths are human-related, with 34 percent due to watercraft collisions, the largest known cause of manatee deaths.

This manatee inhabitant of Crystal River, Florida, is all smiles. (©Thierry Eidenweil/Shutterstock)

Manatees are listed as threatened at the federal level by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and at the state level by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission.

But you can help support manatees long past March—learn how to help an injured manatee, adopt one or just sport some cool manatee gear.

Another event you can participate in is the Virtual Manatee 5K. Participate any way you like (run, bike, walk, swim, kayak, scuba, etc.) anywhere around the globe by Dec. 31, 2021. Registrants receive a unisex T-shirt, finisher medal, official race bib and have the option to purchase a pet medal. 100 percent of proceeds are donated to the Save the Manatee Club.

Find additional ways to get involved here.

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