Manatees Are Starving to Death, but Florida Politicians Want to Keep Selling Them Out
Starvation is killing off the popular Florida manatees, which were already listed as a “threatened” species. Relatives of their land cousins the elephants, these so-called “sea cows” supposedly inspired stories about mermaids. But like their mythical counterparts, soon, these marine mammals might only live on in our imaginations. Just last year alone, researchers recorded 1,100 Florida manatees that had died — more than ever before in such a short time. This die-off is occurring as a result of pollution, climate change, and human development, which have wreaked havoc on the manatees’ food sources, namely seagrass. Now, a major effort to save these marine mammals is underway. But it won’t succeed without help from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Florida environmental organizations have gathered up more than 63,000 lbs of donated lettuce so far, which they’ve used to feed hundreds of manatees each day. But for some individual animals, their situations were so dire, they have now been relocated to rehab centers. While the efforts to feed these starving creatures are heroic and inspiring, donated lettuce simply can’t solve the problem. Even worse, some Florida politicians are willing to let real estate developers deplete seagrass even further — as long as the developers pay up. Manatees’ lives can’t be left up to the whim of some corporate-friendly lawmakers in Florida. These marine mammals MUST be protected now. Sign the petition to demand the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency take action to save the manatees immediately!