Save The Manatee Club, Inc.
Rating: 5 stars 38 38 reviews
500 N Maitland Ave Ste 210 Maitland FL 32751 USA
Save the Manatee Club was founded in 1981 by former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham, and singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett. The Club was started so the public could participate in conservation efforts to protect manatees and their aquatic habitat for future generations. Today, Save the Manatee Club is recognized as the world''s leading manatee conservation organization. Its primary source of funding is the Adopt-A-Manatee program, which began in 1984. The Club has over 40,000 members in the United States and abroad. The Club encourages member participation in a variety of ways: through grass roots advocacy efforts, a volunteer speaker''s bureau, staffing festivals and event display booths, participating in a manatee sighting network, and attending policy-making meetings and hearings. In order to fulfill its mission, Save the Manatee Club raises public awareness, promotes education and volunteer activities, participates in international conservation and education efforts, sponsors research, rescue, rehabilitation, and release efforts, supports land acquisition, advocates for strong and effective manatee and habitat protection measures, and takes legal action when appropriate.
Save the Manatee Club's public awareness programs include the national and international distribution of public service advertisements, press kits, and press releases on manatee issues, public service announcements for radio and television, and a wealth of information available at its website. The Club also produces waterway signs and boater banners and posters, which alert waterway users to the presence of manatees. These materials are distributed free of charge to waterfront property owners and to boaters. Brochures addressing issues critical to manatee protection are printed and distributed as well. The Club also provides free educational materials to students and teachers, including education packets, posters, coloring books, and educator's guides. The Club?s volunteer speakers give presentations to school classes and civic groups, and Club staff provides interviews for student projects. Largely through the Club?s conservation efforts, laws and rules have been passed; boat speed zones, refuges, and sanctuaries have been adopted throughout Florida; and numerous coastal development projects have been modified to include manatee and habitat protection measures. The Club has also advocated successfully in support of essential state and federal budgets for manatee protection measures. The Club also introduced the legislation that established Florida?s official manatee license plate, and successfully advocated for its passage. Monies from the sale of the plate provide the majority of the funding for state manatee research and management programs. Each year the Club supports manatee research projects and provides funding for manatee rescue, rehabilitation, and release efforts in the U.S. and internationally.
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As a USCG licensed captain and an avid boater, I am continuously infuriated by the lack of awareness the boating community pays helpless sea creatures such as manatee. If it weren't for the continuous education efforts of this organization and its numerous volunteers one wonders if there would be any of these docile giants left to grace our planet.