What is the difference between a “Manatee Feeding Program” and a “Manatee Starvation Prevention Program”?

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission is currently not requesting for State or Federal Funding for their Manatee feeding program. They are receiving donations from the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida and only have the budget to feed 3,000 lbs of Romaine Lettuce a day to the Manatees at the Florida Power and Light Utility Plant location within the Indian River Lagoon.

Here’s the breakdown on the feeding program numbers and why this is not a ‘success‘:

• 1 manatee needs an average of 100 lbs of nutrient-rich (like sea grass, hydrilla or water hyacinth- see their natural diet LINKED HERE) aquatic vegetation everyday to survive.

•450- 800 manatees have been reported at the FPL FWC experimental feeding site in Port St. John.

•To prevent starvation 45,000-80,000 lbs of nutrient-rich aquatic vegetation is needed EVERY DAY for the manatees at the FPL/FWC feeding site.

• Only 25,000 lbs of Romaine or Butter lettuce (Which is over 90% water and lacks nutrients) has been given to manatees at the FPL/FWC feeding site for the Entire Winter...which is why:

• 4 -14 starved to death manatees are pulled out of the IRL at the boat ramp next to the feeding site EVERY DAY.

The Public Relations Opportunities to save face F.W.C is receiving would be considered a success, but there has been no success in preventing the starvation of manatees. 💔 They are simply doing the bare minimum to ensure the public does not lose hope to rally against them. This is why the Stop the Starve campaign is so important.

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