Manatees Head to Warm South Florida

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — South Florida boaters are being warned to watch out for manatees.

Manatees’ migration season begins Tuesday and runs through March 31. That means watercraft speed restrictions will be taking effect on canals, rivers and the Intracoastal Waterway.

Manatees arrive gradually in South Florida throughout November and December. The sea mammals are seeking warmer waters as the temperatures drop in their summer habitats of northern Florida and Georgia.

In Palm Beach County, fewer law enforcement boats will be on the water after county commissioners cut the manatee protection budget from $1 million to $750,000. The Sun Sentinel reports ( that the county also discontinued weekly aerial manatee surveys.

Statewide, watercraft have killed 77 manatees this year.

Source: Associated Press