Look Out for Manatees and Sea Turtles!
The Manatee, or Sea Cow, is protected by the Federal Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, the Endangered Species Act of 1973, and the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act of 1978. It is unlawful for an person, at any time, by any means or in any manner, intentionally or negligently, to annoy, molest, harass, or disturb any Manatee or Sea Turtle.
There are civil and criminal penalties that can result from harassment, injury, and or death of an endangered species.
Should Manatees or Sea Turtles be present in the Columbus Day Regatta area, the event will be delayed or stopped until the animals clear he area of their own volition. Any attempt to herd, chase or “escort” the Manatee or Sea Turtle from the area is prohibited. Instead, boat traffic will be halted or directed away from the location of any Manatees or Sea Turtles.
Please adhere to any applicable boating safety and Manatee protection speed zones that may be in place.
Report any Manatee or Sea Turtle deaths or injuries immediately to:
Florida Marine Research Institute
National Marine Fisheries Service
Southeast Fisheries Center