Viewing entries tagged
save the manatee club

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Announcing 10% of sales to save endangered manatees

Some of you know I often raise money for causes, including the protection of endangered species. In fact, I do enough fundraising for the manatee that some people think of me as “The Manatee Lady”...which is OK by me!

(Check out Manatees are in Fashion, a feature in the Save the Manatee Club newsletter)

Today, on International Manatee Day, I am announcing that from now on 10% of denisebrain sales (not profits, but sales) will go to Save the Manatee Club for the important work they do.

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For the Manatees, my 2015 Holiday fundraiser

Painting by Anna Davies/Anna Davies Art

I love manatees.

The West Indian (Florida) Manatee was once plentiful around the coast of Florida, but now its survival as a species is in jeopardy. Humans are the gentle herbivores’ only enemy, with our fishing lines ensnaring them, our pollution poisoning them, our boats striking them and our living space encroaching upon theirs. 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 heart strings and reminds us of the great damage humans have inflicted on the creatures with whom we share this planet.”

Manatees are awesomely large, perfectly gentle creatures. How could anything so wonderful be at risk of extinction?

Manatees are intelligent (“capable of understanding discrimination tasks, and show signs of complex associated learning and advanced long term memory.” [Gerstein, E. R. (1994). The manatee mind: Discrimination training for sensory perception testing of West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus). Marine Mammals 1: 10–21.] They demonstrate complex discrimination and task-learning similar to dolphins and pinnipeds in acoustic and visual studies. [Marine Mammal Medicine, 2001, Leslie Dierauf & Frances Gulland, CRC Press]. The manatee’s closest land relation is the elephant, not the cow, despite their being called sea cows in many parts of the world. They are thought to have evolved from four-legged land animals some 60 million years ago.

Think about it: Manatees have made it 60 million years on the Earth and now their survival is threatened.

I know that many of you share my concern and love for the manatee. That’s why, starting today and going to the end of the year, 25% of your purchase price on any items you select from my Etsy shop or my web store will go to the Save the Manatee Club. If you don’t see any vintage finery to suit you during these weeks, I encourage you to donate on my YouCaring page, where every cent you give will be channeled to SMC. My goal is to raise $650 [edit, now $1250!], and with your help I know this is possible.

For the Manatees,
Maggie/denisebrain

Photo ©Cora Berchem via Save the Manatee Club

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; 
indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. —Margaret Mead


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For the love of manatees


I am truly honored to be featured in the current edition of Save the Manatee Club’s Paddle Tales newsletter. I’ve never been in Vogue—that would be exciting, but I believe this excites me even more!

Manatees Are In Fashion: Margaret Wilds Raises Funds And Awareness Through Her Vintage Clothing

If you want to know more about my support for manatees, I have written (quite a lot!) on the subject in my blog. I’d be honored if you read those posts.

Thank you to my wonderful customers, friends and relatives who support and cheer on my efforts to help the manatee!





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Twiggy—no not THAT Twiggy



I love that Twiggy, and her inimitable embodiment of the 1960s, but I’m back to remind you of the manatees, specifically the other Twiggy, an orphaned baby manatee rescued in Belize.

As you might know, I’m raising $795 for a manatee tracking monitor for Wildtracks in Belize, partners in the endangered manatees’ survival with the Florida-based Save the Manatee Club.

Twiggy was rescued in Belize as a very thin (thus the name) orphan. She has been given exceptional help by the volunteers that run and staff Wildtracks.

Jamal Galves holds Twiggy after she is rescued near Heusner Island in Belize. She weighed just 56 pounds at the time. (Photo courtesy Sea Sport.)
Please read this message from Katie Tripp, Director of Science and Conservation, Save the Manatee Club:
There’s an African proverb that translates to “It takes a village to raise a child.” I also believe it takes a village to raise an orphan baby manatee. For more than two years, you, our members and supporters, have been contributing funds and supplies to help Twiggy, a small baby manatee who washed up on the shore in Belize, motherless, with oyster shell cuts all over her face from struggling in shallow water, lacking the energy to protect herself. Twiggy was terribly skinny (which is how she got her name), and in serious need of help. With your help, this fragile baby manatee has grown and gained strength, and now she is preparing for her next big adventure—release back into the wild. 
I need the help of the village one more time, to ensure Twiggy’s safe release.  
Twiggy needs to be fitted with a satellite transmitter around the base of her tail so that her movements can be tracked after release. We use the same technology on manatees in Florida. These tags, and the monthly monitoring fees to follow her movements, come with a heavy price tag. All told, we are looking at a cost of $7,200. It was expected that Twiggy could use a borrowed tag, but when this tag recently became unavailable, the folks at Wildtracks, where Twiggy was rehabilitated, were faced with the possibility of releasing Twiggy without this vital piece of equipment. We couldn't let that happen! We have all worked so hard to give Twiggy the care and support she needs to succeed—we couldn't let her down now. 
Please help me continue to inch toward the goal of raising $795 for a manatee tracking monitor for Belize, to be used to track and insure manatees’ acclimation to the wild once released. Twiggy has made a major impact on Belize...you might say she is a rock star. Please help Twiggy’s beloved and endangered species with your purchase from my shops or by direct contribution at my YouCaring page.

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Vintage clothing, the French horn...and manatees?


Every now and then the odd collection of my interests and pastimes seems to baffle people. Take manatees: Why am I, a woman living in Washington State, passionate about the plight of the manatee, which lives nowhere near me?

I have always had a great concern and fondness for endangered creatures of all kinds. I vividly recall first becoming aware of manatees as a little girl, before much publicity was being brought to their plight. I couldn’t believe I’d never heard of them before, and was fascinated by such awesomely large, perfectly gentle creatures, the corners of their mouths always turned up like little smiles. How could anything so wonderful be at risk of extinction?


Then in 2000 I got the opportunity to visit my relatives in Florida, and they took my husband and I for a short boat tour at Blue Spring State Park. We saw amazing plant life and any number of alligators, but what we really yearned to see was a manatee. There were hints that they were near—


—but it wasn’t until we got off the boat and were just standing watching the river that we saw some clamor, as a group of volunteers met a van. Out of the van the group of people hoisted a manatee which had been rescued and rehabilitated. 



When this manatee was released into the water, another manatee immediately came up from the bottom of the river and nudged the newcomer, unmistakably like a greeting.


I had tears streaming down my face...I was IN LOVE with manatees!

Since then I’ve tried to find out all I can about this creature, and have been amazed. For instance, manatees are intelligent (“capable of understanding discrimination tasks, and show signs of complex associated learning and advanced long term memory.” [Gerstein, E. R. (1994). The manatee mind: Discrimination training for sensory perception testing of West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus). Marine Mammals 1: 10–21.] They demonstrate complex discrimination and task-learning similar to dolphins and pinnipeds in acoustic and visual studies. [Marine Mammal Medicine, 2001, Leslie Dierauf & Frances Gulland, CRC Press]. The manatee’s closest land relation is the elephant, not the cow, despite their being called sea cows in many parts of the world. They are thought to have evolved from four-legged land animals some 60 million years ago.

With no natural predators, their “enemies” are humans. Every year many manatees (slow moving as they are and with a habitat that hugs the shoreline) are killed or injured by boat and ship strikes. Many more die from boat strikes than natural causes such as cold stress and red tide.

With humans so responsible for the grave endangerment of the manatee, we must also be responsible for their survival.

As I wrote about in a blog a few posts back, I am currently working on raising $795 for a monitor to keep track of re-released manatees. The monitor (shown here) will help the Florida-based Save the Manatee Club’s partners at Wildtracks in Belize, supporting their efforts to make sure that rehabilitated manatees are getting acclimated to the wild once they are released. This was a fundraising request specifically made of me.

Is it worth nearly $800? With so few manatees, each individual animal is of the greatest importance to the species. If the monitor helps rescue or save a single manatee, it is priceless to me.

Please consider donating directly at my YouCaring donation page. YouCaring takes no money out of your donation...zero. In addition, 1/3 of my sales will go to this important purpose until the total is met. If you have no money (I can sympathize!) please consider helping me by spreading the word about this fundraiser. The sooner we reach the goal of raising $795, the sooner the monitor can get to the important work of helping save manatees.



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The manatee hugger is back!



If you know me at all, you know I love manatees.

Humans are the gentle herbivores’ only enemy, with our fishing lines ensnaring them, our pollution poisoning them, our boats striking them and our living space encroaching upon theirs. 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 heart strings and reminds us of the great damage humans have inflicted on the creatures with whom we share this planet.”

It has been a very hard year for the manatee, with a deeply troubling number of deaths. Some of you may remember that my customers and I were able to raise $525 for the Emergency Rescue Fund of the Save the Manatee Club in late March/early April of this year, to help with injured and sickened animals.

That brings us to today.

I invited Katie Tripp, Director of Science and Conservation for the Save the Manatee Club to suggest fundraising projects to help manatees. Dr. Tripp asked if I could come up with $795 for a tracking box for the SMC’s Belize colleagues to track tagged manatees that have been rehabilitated and released. These manatees are being monitored after their release to help ensure their acclimation to life in the wild.

You know the Manatee Hugger can’t refuse!

Direct donations to this cause may be made on my YouCaring.com page, and will be greatly appreciated. At the same time, one-third of my vintage clothing sales at denisebrain.com and etsy.com/shop/denisebrain will go toward the monitor until the goal is reached.

I will add the vintage clothing sales tally to the total on YouCaring so you can see where we stand on reaching the goal. The widget at the upper right of this page will take you to the YouCaring page if you’d like. YouCaring does not charge for fundraising...all the money earned will go to the cause of manatee protection.

I was told the monitor is needed ASAP in Belize. The lives of these gentle, intelligent—and endangered—animals are at risk.

Dr. Tripp bottle feeds Twiggy, an orphaned manatee calf, at Wildtracks, a manatee rehabilitation center in Belize. - See more at Save the Manatee Club news

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I thank you, the manatees thank you

Thanks to you and your purchases, I've reached my goal of making $500 for the Save the Manatee Club. Anyone who knows me well knows I am very concerned for these endangered animals, and when I received an urgent plea from the Save the Manatee Club about a month ago, I decided to set aside a portion of my earnings from denisebrain.com.

The goal has been reached, and the manatees will have a little more support from denisebrain...and my wonderful customers!




Thank you so much!


Further contributions will always be appreciated and needed at the Save the Manatee Club, guaranteed.

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For the manatees

A reminder: 25% of every sale in all my selling venues at denisebrain.com is now benefiting the Save the Manatee Club. My goal is to raise $500 to help with the overwhelming needs of the organization.

Perhaps I can tempt you with
this 30s dress with its charming bow print?
or these 50s Delman sandals in unused condition
or this 50s beaded cashmere cardigan
or this 50s iridescent taffeta dress and jacket
There are nearly 200 items for sale in my shops, so drop by and see what's in store! Your purchase will be appreciated even more than usual...by the manatees and me!

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Save the manatees...they need us more than ever


I just received an impassioned plea from the Save the Manatee Club. Although it was not put in so many words, it appears that new Florida Governor Rick Scott is leaving an opening for self-interested concerns to downlist the manatee from endangered to threatened, or to even be removed from the protections of the Endangered Species Act altogether, at the federal level, despite the fact that 767 manatees were known to have perished last year, which is more than twice the 5-year average. In the past two years there have been many manatee deaths from boating collisions and from cold stress. We still don't know what effect the oil spill will have on manatees and the ecosystem in which they live. Manatees are only becoming more endangered, and only need more of our help to survive.

The manatee's situation is dire. Speed boating's situation is not dire. Can't we bend to save a species that has made it 60 million years so far?

I had planned to do something later in the summer for manatees, but instead I will start a push to help answer the Save the Manatee plea for assistance right away. If you know me at all you know I can't refuse manatees! Starting tomorrow, 25% of my proceeds will go to Save the Manatee Club. If the listings are on eBay, the listing will show the cause. I will also donate 25% of sales from my Etsy stores and from my website. My goal is to make $500, however long it might take.

Thank you for your help!

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