If you have read my blog for any length of time you know I'm awfully fond of the manatee. Some people even know me as "the manatee lady" — I think that's supposed to be a compliment!
But can we get serious for a minute?
Humans are the gentle herbivores’ only threat, with our fishing lines ensnaring them, our pollution poisoning them, our boats striking them and our living space encroaching upon theirs.
The pressure on this species is greater all the time, with increased human population, loss of habitat, and more use of watercraft.
Loss of wintering grounds, harassment of manatees at some locations, degradation of water quality and the loss of vegetation upon which manatees depend have all taken and will continue to take a toll.
This year's huge manatee death toll due to red tide is evidence of the tenuousness of the survival of the species in Florida waters.
This is not a story that can end well for the manatee without our help.
Consider the importance of these animals to our national conscience. Heather Sellick of the US Scuba Center wrote: “the manatee is one of the most magnificent marine mammals...it is also the one that tugs at our heartstrings and reminds us of the great damage humans have inflicted on the creatures with whom we share this planet.”
I don't want to live in a world without these wonderful creatures.
Today is International Manatee Day, and the day marks the 2nd anniversary of my setting aside 10% of all denisebrain sales to Save the Manatee Club for the protection of these beloved and imperiled animals. I will make another donation on behalf of denisebrain's customers today, with gratitude to all who support me in this.