Pledge to Help Manatees in Florida
Florida’s wildlife like manatees need our help on Election Day. Floridians can help protect habitat for endangered manatees by voting yes on Amendment 1, the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment.The roly-poly Florida manatees have fascinated people for centuries. Affectionately called the “sea cow”, adult manatees average ten feet in length and weigh between 800 to 1,200 pounds. The graceful creatures prefer shallow, slow-moving waters of rivers, estuaries, saltwater bays, canals and coastal areas munching on aquatic plants such cordgrass, turtle grass and eelgrass.
Though manatees are protected under the Marine Mammal Act, there were an alarming number of manatee deaths in Florida in 2013. Before last year, there were roughly 5,000 manatees near Florida, the result of years of careful conservation efforts. Now all of this work is being thrown into jeopardy. Hunted in the past, they are now threatened by pollution and coastal development that are damaging their aquatic habitat. Together with the tragically growing number of stillborn and underweight calves, the manatees of Florida are clearly in crisis.
Sadly, the conservation funds that could be helping manatees by protecting important streams, wetlands, forests, and beaches have been taken away in recent years from conserving these critical habitat areas.
Pledge to Vote YES
Tomorrow, we can do something about the conservation funding issue when you vote yes to Florida’s Amendment 1. The Vote Yes on Amendment 1 campaign has diligently worked with Florida citizens to get an amendment put on the 2014 ballot that would protect conservation funding for the next twenty years.
Amendment 1 is not a tax, but it will secure one-third of the existing fees collected when real estate is sold to be directed towards conservation. This is the same funding source that Florida has used for conservation for more than two decades. The amendment will revive the state’s historic commitment to preserving natural lands and wildlife habitat without raising taxes.
By voting yes, we are saying YES to clean water, restoring our lakes, rivers, and streams, and helping save Florida’s endangered wildlife. The National Wildlife Federation and Florida Wildlife Federation strongly support the Vote Yes On Amendment 1 campaign. The incredible Jim Fowler, the former host of the Emmy-award winning Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom, has also announced his support for Amendment 1.