Our area is NOW under a manatee protection order.
The protection season begins April first through the end of October (see the map)
Manatee protection rules are rules that are established by FWC to restrict the speed and operation of vessels where necessary to protect manatees from harmful collisions with vessels and from harassment. In areas that are especially important to manatees, the rules can prohibit or limit entry into an area as well as restrict what activities can be performed in the area. FWC is authorized to adopt these rules by the Manatee Sanctuary Act, 379.2431(2), Florida Statutes (FS). The rules appear in Chapter 68C-22 of the Florida Administrative Code (FAC).
Click here for maps of these areas
The state of Florida, as well as the US Fish and Wildlife Service and various local governments, have established boat speed limits in areas frequented by manatees as a means of reducing risks. Boat speed limits are believed to reduce risks in 3 primary ways: (1) greater reaction time for the boat operator; (2) greater reaction time for the manatee; and (3) reduced the severity of injuries in the event that a manatee is hit by a boat.