The Hard Numbers-A Hard Future, Manatees

Crystal River, Credit: Paul Nicklen/National Geographic 2013.I

Slide from “Manatee UME on the Florida Atlantic Coast 2020-2021” -Martine de Wit, DVM

I wanted to share today’post because I have recently been exposed to this inofrmation. Most of it is very disturbing, and unfortunately, it is going to get even more so. We have to prepare. We have to decide. As winter approaches, we are going to have to face some hard choices about manatees.

As we all know, Florida’s manatee’s are in the middle of a UME or Unusual Mortality Event. It has been documented by FWC that most deaths are due to starvation as the seagrass meadows of the 156 mile long Indian River Lagoon are dead, dying, or in poor condition, due to poor water quality, algae blooms, discharges (S.IRL) , and thus lack of sunlight. The Florida Wildlife Commission’s 2021 numbers are displayed in the chart below and more information can be found here. 

This August, Martine de Wit, DVM, presented a power point to the Management Board of the Indian River Lagoon Council. It is heartbreaking but should be seen by all.

Manatee Unusual Mortality Event  on the Florida Atlantic Coast December 2020 July 2021 UME_IRLNEP_STEM_10Aug212

The bottom line is: this winter the migrating manatees will have site fidelity (like elephants) to the four power plants along the IRL. In the past, as many as 2500  have stayed true to the warm waters near Cape Canaveral’s power plant in the northern central IRL. The question is, not who will come this year, it’s just how many. These manatees will be warm but there are no longer historic seagrass beds to eat. In spite of this, they will stay and put being warm first. Since we know there is no seagrass and since we know they will gather in their known warm waters, should we try to feed them or relocate them/something not supported in the past…

What do you think?

16 thoughts on “The Hard Numbers-A Hard Future, Manatees

  1. I think the canals that empty into the St. Lucie river should be closed today, the farmers along the lake should be forbidden by the State from applying any more chemicals to their fields, and any further discharges into the river (sewage, whatever) should stop. Give the river a chance to heal. It will probably begin immediately and perhaps have a good effect on the Indian River. Are there seagrass beds in the St. Lucie (when it’s healthy) on which manatees can feed? Meanwhile, if the lake begins to overflow, find ways to divert it into the Glades as it used to. Farmer-author Wendell Berry wrote, “We have lived our lives by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong. We must change our lives so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption, that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort too know the world and learn what’s good for it.” This statement should guide all our actions from now on.

  2. You can clean juelrey with sonic energy. When they dredged Turkey creek there were dead manitees everywhere but not one peep by media or politcians bank rolled by developers. They have since went whole hog with the dredgeing and you will NEVER see any study done that will incriminate them our criminal state gov.
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  3. It is pitifull that Brevarf taxpayers voted to spend half a billion dollars to restore the lagoon and this is waht they get—a bunch of people now driving mercedies with their hands in their pockets watching the manitees starve—As our lagitamit President TRUMP would say—-YOUR FIRED

  4. Government has made movies about the dangers of micro-plastics in the oceans. Throughout the lagoon their are signs saying do NOT let plastics get into the water—so what do our brillient state gov. people do—they put oyster shells in plastic bags throughout the lagoon. Algaie grows exstreamly fast on calcium shells and I believe this is how mother sea cows get their calcium for babies milk in the winter. I have watched them and wondered—are they eating the plastic?

    1. Carol—I am sure alf -alfa has all the nutriants they need but like anything new –try small and observe

  5. ask the FWC what to do and then do the opposite. Since that agency is a bunch of clueless idiots!!!

  6. This is heartbreaking information. People move to Florida because it’s a Bargain State, yet our environment is unique and one-of-a-kind. After growth management was abolished, for all intents and purposes, in 2011, local governments were given the responsibilities that the state used to have. Now even local governments have been bought and paid for by developers. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Jacqui.

    1. I’ve wondered with dismay how Stuart got so crammed with houses! The wonderful photos in this blog clearly reveal how badly the area needs some “growth management.” If today’s overcrowded conditions mostly occurred before growth management was abolished in 2011, I hate to think what is happening since then! City and County Commissioners with no sensitivity to local environmental problems and solutions should be replaced, and much stricter standards for new buildings, roads, etc. should be imposed. Current wild areas should be preserved, and a few golf courses closed!

  7. This is Bretnt— I saw a picture from World War 2 that was a German radio tower antina that had waves of sound going out that said —LIES—LIES—LIES. I feel we are NOW in a war of LIES and these LIES and bringing down death and destruction upon us. The 1918 pandemic was stopped cold when they found out sitting people in the suns UV light made them get well—putting calcuium on the west shore where it was taken from will restore the lagoon—-septic tanks calcium drainfield takes harmfull ammonia and HCL and makes harmless calcium cloride salt..

  8. This is the SECOND time a army of state gov. freeloaders has sat and watched a criticaly endangered species STARVE to death. We are supposed to trust THEM for OUR health and safety???

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