Every year on the last Wednesday of March is Manatee Appreciation Day. This year, we celebrate on March 25th. For every manatee purchase, we will be donating 20% of each sale to Save the Manatee Club.
Want to learn more about manatees? A gentle giant, manatees are large, gray aquatic mammals with bodies that taper to a flat, paddle-shaped tail. They have two forelimbs, called flippers, with three to four nails on each flipper. Their head and face are wrinkled with whiskers on the snout. The average adult manatee is about 10 feet long and weighs between 800 and 1,200 pounds.
These animals are gentle and slow-moving. Most of their time is spent eating, resting and traveling. What a great life, right?! Since manatees are mammals, they must surface to breathe air. They may rest submerged at the bottom or just below the surface of the water. It is believed that manatees can live 60 years or more.
Manatees can be found in shallow, slow-moving rivers, estuaries, saltwater bays, canals and coastal areas. There is a minimum population count of 5,733 manatees as of January 2019, according to a synoptic survey. There are three manatee species worldwide – West Indian, West African and Amazonian. All three are listed as vulnerable to extinction.
A HEALTHY OCEAN DEPENDS ON MANATEES
Manatees need our help as they are currently at-risk. Manatee numbers have declined throughout the last century, mostly because of hunting pressure. In addition, these gentle creatures are often accidentally hit by motorboats in ever more crowded waters, and sometimes become entangled in fishing nets. The best way to protect manatees is for the public to learn about the challenges they face every day. If you care about healthy aquatic ecosystems, protecting these animals is in your best interest.
It is important to understand our role as responsible stewards of manatees and their habitat. Florida residents may be familiar with the bright yellow, public awareness signs encouraging boaters to go slow due to the presence of manatees in the waterways. Boaters are encouraged to wear polarized sunglasses to make it easier to see under the surface. When one does spot a manatee, they are encouraged to look without touching, chasing or feeding. As for all sea life protection, it is encouraged to not pollute and to limit plastic-use.
We are currently looking for a forever home for our manatee masterpiece (currently in the U.S.) to help raise public awareness of the threats facing these gentle and beloved marine mammals.
Explore Manatee Art at Ocean Sole.