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FWC reveals new manatee, sea turtle decals for year

July 17, 2019
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is unveiling its new 2019 manatee and sea turtle decals. The original artwork stickers are a way for people to support the research, rescue and management efforts that conserve the species and spread the word about the challenges they face.

Every July, the FWC introduces new manatee and sea turtle decals that are available with a $5 donation. The waterproof decals are designed for a vehicle's bumper or the side of a boat, and they can be found on laptops, water bottles and coolers throughout the state. Get one when registering or re-registering a vehicle or boat at local tax collector's offices.

"When someone purchases a manatee or sea turtle decal and displays it, they're not only contributing financially to conservation," Carol Knox, who leads the FWC's Imperiled Species Management Section, said. "They're raising awareness about these species and specific issues they face. It's a simple way to make a difference for Florida wildlife."

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Over 6,000 manatees swim in the state's coastal waters, rivers and freshwater springs, and about 20,000 sea turtles nest each year on Florida's Atlantic and Gulf coast beaches. The decals help fund manatee and sea turtle conservation efforts. For example, when someone calls the FWC's Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) to report an injured, entangled or sick manatee or sea turtle, staff works with partners to respond and rescue the animal.

The decals also spotlight important conservation issues:

- The "Warm Water Saves Manatees" decal shows several manatees gathering in a spring. Florida manatees require warm-water refuges to survive the winter months. Manatees cannot endure water temperatures below 68 degrees, so warm waters are critical for their survival.

- The "Keep on Swimming" sea turtle decal shows a Kemp's ridley hatchling. Kemp's ridleys are the world's rarest sea turtle. They rarely nest in Florida, but many of them spend most of their lives in Florida waters. Marine debris can have a big impact on Florida's sea turtles, so make a difference by keeping the beaches clean.

Learn more about how to help conserve manatees and sea turtles at MyFWC.com/Manatee andMyFWC.com/SeaTurtle, where you also can click on "Decals" to order new or past editions of the decals. People can also support the species by purchasing a "Save the Manatee" or "Helping Sea Turtles Survive" license plate at local tax collector's offices.

For more information about how to get involved, visit widlifeflorida.org.

 
 

 

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