Love is in the Air, Now Let’s Get Lettuce in the Water
Celebrate Valentine’s Day by sending love to your family, friends, and Florida’s manatees. Now through February 9th, we’ll send a valentine to the manatee-lover of your choosing when you donate $25 to our Marine Mammal Fund. All proceeds will support the supplemental feeding in the Indian River Lagoon.
In 2021, FWC recorded 1,101 manatee deaths, many due to starvation, which set the stage for the first supplemental feeding trial of its kind operated by the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS). Warm water refuge sites for wintering manatees used to house acres of eelgrass that manatees would naturally forage on. Nutrient runoff and pollution have created toxic algae blooms that choke out aquatic plants like eelgrass and seagrass. Now all that remains are food deserts for an animal that typically would consume almost 10% of its body weight per day. Thanks to the supplemental feeding trial, locally sourced Florida lettuce has helped reduce manatee deaths during cold winter months.
Traditional valentine’s gifts are not only costly to your wallet but to our planet. According to Scientific American, the 100 million roses grown for a typical Valentine’s Day in the United States produce about 9,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
Even still, most roses purchased in the United States for Valentine’s Day are shipped from Colombia and Ecuador. While they are normally transported throughout the year aboard passenger planes already headed to the United States, the increased demand in the weeks prior to V-Day requires nearly 30 daily plane trips dedicated solely to flowers. Plus, your typical bouquet of roses or box of chocolates is expected to be pricier this year due to higher than-usual container shipping costs.
Help save the planet and protect Florida’s wildlife while checking off your Valentine’s Day to-do list by sending a manatee valentine.