In early 2022, Bear Warriors United and its legal team partnered with Texas Aquatic Harvesting to apply for a permit from FDACS to mechanically harvest and transport hyacinths and hydrilla to and for starving manatees. After a stringent 5 month application process, the partnership qualified for and was granted the state permit!
A representative for Bear Warriors United then handed over the permit to USFWS and FWC and asked both agencies to feed the manatees hyacinths and hydrilla (manatees’ natural food source), as a supplement to the lettuce feeding program at the FPL power plant in Port St. John.
Bear Warriors United even offered to pay for a pilot program, in an effort to ‘iron out any wrinkles’ in mechanically harvesting, transporting and feeding hyacinths and hydrilla to starving manatees. The pilot program would include feeding hyacinths to starving manatees at the FPL power plant and DeSoto Canal; feeding hydrilla to manatees in rehab facilities around the state; giving surplus hyacinths and hydrilla to cattle ranchers to feed their cows and to farmers to fertilize their food crops.