Reminder From Broward County: Don't Mow Over Sea Cows

Due to new rules from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the impending manatee season in Broward County, the Natural Resources Planning and Management Division would like to remind you not to slice up sea cows with your boat in the county's waterways.

Two manatees have been killed by boats so far this year in Broward, which is less than last year's total of four.

Instead of Broward boaters just having to slow down in certain areas on the weekends during manatee season -- which started in 1993 -- the new rule applies all the time from November 15 (the start of the season) to March 31, according to the FWC.

Manatees sure look superfat, but they apparently don't have enough to keep them warm, so like the snowbirds, they're here for the weather.

"During very cold spells, the majority of manatees can be found in the warm-water refuges of the Lauderdale Power Plant cooling lakes and Port Everglades Power Plant cooling canal," the Natural Resources Planning and Management Division says.

When it's warmer, they'll be in the surrounding canals and the Intracoastal Waterway -- where they're more likely to meet propellers.

Statewide through October, 74 manatees have been killed by boats this year, compared to 83 in all of 2010.

For boaters, the speed restrictions will likely slow down your trip.

According to the FWC, it'll take an extra 18 minutes for boaters to travel through the county on the Intracoastal Waterway.

The only staff-recommended change to the boating rules not accepted by the FWC was a more restrictive slow-zone on the Intracoastal from Sunrise Boulevard to Las Olas Boulevard.

We also found out that manatees have bellybuttons.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley