Wildlife Officials Caution Boaters to Slow Down for Manatees

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ Wildlife officers have a message for boaters: slow down for migrating manatees in Florida.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says as the weather cools, manatees move to warmer waters such as freshwater springs or canals near power plant outflows.

Boaters are being asked to slow down and watch out for manatees as many of the seasonal manatee protection zones go into effect Thursday.

November is Manatee Awareness Month. The wildlife commission says in a statement that many manatees in Florida have scars from run-ins with boats.

They’re encouraging boaters to do their part by slowing down in seagrass beds and warm-water sites where the animals like to congregate.

Floridians can also support manatee conservation by purchasing the state’s manatee license plate, which helps conservation and research efforts.