Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dear Assholes Who Are Trying To Kill the Poor Manatees

I just got this email this morning

Dear William,

A manatee is no match for a speed boat.

Boat strikes are one of the leading causes of death for these gentle, highly endangered marine mammals. Yet a small, but vocal group of extremists is fighting hard to stop much-needed new protections for manatees.

Unfortunately, these extremists may win… unless we make our voices heard right now.

Urge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to establish a new safety area for Florida’s manatees to protect these gentle sea cows from boat strikes and harassment that threaten their survival.

The Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Florida, in Kings Bay, was established specifically to protect endangered manatees. The animals are attracted to its warm waters during winter’s cold weather. But the Kings Bay waterway remains a dangerous place for manatees traveling to the refuge.

Just last year, 83 manatees died in Florida from watercraft-related incidents. Scientists project that unless this cause of death is curtailed, the manatee population will not recover.

In response to this and other threats to manatee survival, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed expanding protections for manatees in Kings Bay, Florida.

Federal officials need to hear from you. Let the Fish and Wildlife Service know that you support safety areas for manatees.

King’s Bay is increasingly important to these endangered marine mammals -- the number of manatees using the network of warm-water springs in the Kings Bay system has increased from about 100 in the early 1980s to more than 550 animals today.

Help establish a new safety area for our manatees. Please take action now.

With your help, the manatees of Kings Bay will be safer from boat strikes, protected from harassment and better able to survive in a changing climate while maintaining boating access for property owners. But we have to act now.

To counter the flurry of extreme anti-environment comments that the Fish and Wildlife Service has received, we need to send at least 20,000 messages in support of our manatees. And we only have until August 22nd (next Monday) to make our voices heard.

Speak out for manatees. Please take action right now.

With Gratitude,
Elizabeth Fleming
Florida Representative
Defenders of Wildlife

[so of course I'll write them and support this cause....I love manatees and saw a bunch of them when I was down in Florida earlier this year]

As a supporter of Defenders of Wildlife and someone who cares about manatees, I strongly support the establishment of additional protections for manatees in Kings Bay, FL as proposed in Alternative B. I also support issuing harassment regulations and increasing law enforcement as described in Alternatives D and E.

Kings Bay is increasingly important to these endangered marine mammals -- the number of manatees using the network of warm-water springs in the Kings Bay system has increased from about 100 in the early 1980s to more than 550 animals today.

Yet Kings Bay remains a dangerous waterway for manatees and the proposed protections will complement those provided by Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge.

The leading human cause of death to manatees is boat strikes. These propellers and hulls inflict serious, often mortal, wounds. Just last year, 83 manatees died in Florida from watercraft-related incidents. Manatee deaths specifically within Kings Bay have risen significantly with the increasing number of watercraft in the past ten years. Of the 16 boat-related deaths that have occurred in Kings Bay, 13 happened in the past decade.

Scientists project that unless this cause of death is curtailed, the manatee population will not recover.

Slow-speed boating zones, such as those called for by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have proven effective in allowing manatees and boat operators more time to avoid collisions. Moreover, the agency's proposal would protect manatees during very cold weather events, when they are most vulnerable and prohibit harassment and hazing that can injure them.

The protections called for by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are common-sense and vital to protecting the essential manatee population found in and around Kings Bay while maintaining access for responsible boaters.

I strongly support the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's proposal and hope to see it implemented with all due haste.

Thank you for considering my comments. I look forward to your prompt reply.