Manatee Awareness at the Wekiva Wild and Scenic River System

It’s well into November, so we know what’s on everybody’s mind: it’s Manatee Awareness Month! And what perfect timing – as temperatures cool around the state, manatees will be leaving coastal waters in search of thermal refuges with a water temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. And where can that kind of consistent water temperature be found?

Why, springs of course!

Flowing at an average of 72 degrees Fahrenheit, springs are an ideal warm water refuge for manatees. For those who recreate on spring-fed rivers throughout the state, including our own Wild and Scenic Wekiva River System, this means that the chances of manatee sightings will increase during the cooler months, which means it’s a good time to review the best practices for sharing space with manatees.

We are grateful to our partner organization, the Save the Manatee Club, for creating their public resources for boating best practices, public awareness materials, and all of their research, rescue, and rehabilitation efforts for manatees across the state!

If you are at all concerned that a manatee may be sick, injured, entangled, or orphaned, or if you see a manatee that is being harassed or wearing a “tag” or tracking device, please immediately report it to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) 24-hour Wildlife Alert Hotline by calling 1-888-404-3922 (FWCC). Outside of Florida, please make a report with a local wildlife agency or stranding network.

Looking for More Manatees?

Have we got the volunteer opportunity for you! Join us at Blue Spring State Park for the Manatee Festival, celebrating Florida’s beloved marine mammal. We’re seeking volunteers to support our two tents during the event, taking place on January 27-28, 2024, at 2100 W French Ave, Orange City, FL 32763. The festival runs from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and we are in need of assistance from volunteers between 8:30 AM and 5:30 PM on both days. If you’re interested, please use the form below to sign up! (details to follow) You’ll have ample time to explore the festival and admire the manatees too.