Some helpful tips for boaters:
To spot them so you can avoid them, wear polarized sunglasses and look for a snout, back, tail, or flipper breaking the surface. A swimming manatee’s tail creates whirls or flat spots on the water.
Stay in deep-water channels. For high-speed water sports, choose areas that manatees do not or cannot frequent.
Remain at least 50 feet away from manatees. Stop your prop if you must go closer. Obey speed zone signs and avoid posted manatee sanctuaries.
Recycle your litter or throw it in a proper trash container. Debris such as discarded plastic bags or six-pack holders is dangerous to manatees and other wildlife. Properly discard or recycle monofilament line and fishhooks.
Feeding, providing water, or touching manatees may encourage them to approach people who might harm them.
Monofilament Line Hazards
Monofilament fishing line can last for centuries in the water, out of the sun’s ultra-violet rays. Each year, thousands of animals and many boat propellers become tangled in discarded fishing line.Shorebirds, sea turtles, and manatees can starve to death, lose limbs, or drown because of entanglement. Human divers can also become tangled in line. Please deposit used fishing line in the designated recycling containers at St. Augustine’s ramps and fishing piers.
Rare Northern Right Whales migrate to waters off north Florida to calve. You may see them within a mile of shore. Characteristics include white spots on the head, no dorsal fin, and a V-shaped blow. It is illegal to approach within 500 yards of a whale, for the whale’s safety and yours. If you see a whale, please call 1-888-979-4253, and the U.S. Navy will alert nearby ships.