Marine Mammal Fund
We’re working with partners to replant eelgrass beds in the Indian River Lagoon to provide new sources of food for manatees suffering from starvation. $120,000 is needed to restore seven principal eelgrass beds. Please help us respond to this serious threat to our manatees!
The Foundation’s Marine Mammal Fund supports the conservation of Florida’s manatees, dolphins, and whales. While some of our marine mammals have seen remarkable population increases over the years, others are still in critical need. By working together, we can ensure that they call Florida home for generations to come.
The Inspiring Rebound of Florida Manatees
One of Florida’s most beloved animals, the manatee, was once threatened with extinction. The Florida manatee was first listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act in the 1970s. At the time, there were only a few hundred manatees left due to pollution, disease, and boating accidents. Through the combined action of government agencies, conservation groups, and citizens of all ages, manatees have made an incredible rebound. Their population has risen to over 7,500 animals, and the species was reclassified from endangered to threatened in May 2017.
The recovery of the Florida manatee population has been one of the most inspiring conservation success stories of the past 20 years. But ongoing research and conservation efforts are needed to keep the population healthy and reduce manatee-boat collisions, which injure or kills hundreds of manatees each year. The Foundation’s Marine Mammal Fund supports these conservation efforts.
The Foundation has funded numerous projects that protect and restore Florida’s freshwater springs, essential habitats for Florida manatees. During the winter, ocean water drops to temperatures that can be fatal to manatees. To escape the frigid temperatures, manatees move to the warmer waters of Florida’s springs. Spreading awareness about marine mammals is also a priority for the Foundation. We have funded online field trips for Florida students to learn about the endangered North Atlantic right whale and what they can do if they spot one. Volunteer groups that report on springs health or assist with events like the Orange City Manatee Festival have also been supported by the Foundation.