DeSantis Announces Record Funding to Save Manatees

May 2, 2022 Updated 2:44 PM ET

manatee

May 2, 2022 Updated 2:44 P.M. ET

JACKSONVILLE (FLV) – Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he supports putting more than $30 million in the state’s budget to protect, rescue, and rehabilitate manatees in Florida. 

DeSantis said the “record” funding will provide $17 million more compared to the previous fiscal year as the number of manatee deaths climb. 

“This historic funding will support important restoration efforts across the state to benefit our manatees and Florida’s natural environment,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “My administration will continue working to find new and innovative ways to support our native species, like the manatee, so that the generations to come can experience Florida’s natural resources.”

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports 1,101 manatees died in 2021. Many of those deaths are due to starvation. So far, 527 manatees have died from January to April in 2022. 

The $30 million includes money to maintain care facilities, restore access to springs, and implement pilot projects like supplemental feeding trials. 

“This historic investment in manatee rescue efforts and habitat restoration will expand the state’s critical care network, increase access to warm water environments, and restore access to manatee foraging habitat,” said FWC Executive Director Eric Sutton.

DEP Secretary Shawn Hamilton praised the Governor for historic levels of support and unprecedented resources. 

“Today’s announcement is continued evidence of the Governor and Legislature’s commitment to water quality in our state, which is essential to health of our environment, our economy and our fish and wildlife,” Hamilton said. 

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