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Manatees in Southwest Florida

Protecting wintering manatees in Sarasota’s County’s Salt Creek and Warm Mineral Springs Creek 

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Manatee swimming

Manatees live on both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of Florida, grazing on seagrass during the warmer months. When ocean waters dip below 68 degrees F, manatees have to seek out warmer water so they do not get hypothermia.

Sadly, manatees are considered threatened. In 2021, more than one thousand manatees died -- mostly in the Indian River Lagoon on the Atlantic Coast (southeast of Orlando). It’s important to keep manatees elsewhere in Florida as safe as possible.

On the Gulf Coast, in Southwest Florida, two creeks -- Warm Mineral Springs Creek and Salt Creek -- provide an important natural warm-water refuge, hosting more than than 125 manatees each winter.

During cooler months (November 15 - March 15), please help manatees in Sarasota County’s Warm Mineral Springs Creek and Salt Creek by:

Please call the FWC Alert Hotline 1-888-404-3922, if you see:

In the Summer of 2022, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will start a project to restore these creeks so they continue to provide manatees a safe warm-water refuge for years to come.

The National Wildlife Federation is getting the word out about how we can keep these manatees safe thanks to a grant from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

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Where We Work

More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

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