Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida
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Manatees Receive Support from the Arizona Desert

By: Kyle Grammatica

For the second year in a row, the first grade class at Diamond Canyon School in the Phoenix suburb of Anthem, Arizona organized a fundraiser to help protect Florida manatees. The class raised nearly $700, up from $435 last year, demonstrating that anyone can make a difference no matter your age or location.

The students had a Skype interview with Nadia Gordon of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Gordon was at the Manatee Critical Care Center in the Jacksonville Zoo and spoke to the students about the animals she worked with. The students were captivated by the manatees so their teachers decided to teach them about conservation. The students made posters and commercials showcasing what they had learned. To raise money for the donation, students ran lemonade stands and bake sales on weekends.

Thank you to Principal Tara LeCount, teacher Amy Hoffman and the entire first grade team, and a special thank you to all of the first graders at Diamond Canyon School! We appreciate your hard work!

Conservation of Manatees

This is not the first time that children have helped fight for the protection of manatees. In 1975, Florida school children helped get the manatee designated as Florida’s state marine mammal. Since then, policy changes, research, and continued support have drastically improved the unique creature’s chance for survival. The manatee was once on the path to extinction, but in 2017 the species population had risen high enough to move from being classified as an endangered species into a threatened species.

Manatees are very important to Florida and the conservation of marine areas since they are keystone species whose behavior can signify changes in the environment. By studying manatees, researchers can determine problems much quicker and react accordingly. Manatees also provide Florida with tourism and recreation opportunities. By donating to our Marine Mammal Fund, you can be a part of one the most impressive conservation success stories of the last 20 years.

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