Florida Plan To Save Manatees With 25 Tons of Lettuce


Manatees as of recent years have been starving because of pollution of their habitat killing their main food source, seagrass.  While conservation efforts are underway to try to replace the lost vegetation, a plan was made to feed the manatees with donated lettuce.  The effort raised 25 tons of lettuce to feed the starving manatees, attracting around 300-350 per day.  “We’re making a difference,” Ron Mezich of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission stated.  Normally it is not advised to feed manatees as it leads them to associate humans with food, but people can donate money to the effort to help feed them.

Economically, manatee attract a large tourism industry.  Swimming with them is a popular thing to do in Florida.  People come from all over the world to indulge in this activity.  Preserving these animals helps keep this industry afloat.  Fixing our mistakes to maintain ecosystems helps many animals, which in turn helps humans.  Taking care of our Earth will help preserve us and a healthy economy.

Personally, I think it is wonderful that we are trying to fix our mistakes.  Manatees are wonderful creatures and deserve to live long and happy lives.  It is our pollution that kills their food source, so it is only right to try to restore it and find a temporary solution.  I have got the privilege to swim with one of these magnificent creatures; it was a truly magical experience.  The manatee has been taken off the endangered species list, however they are very much still at risk.  Hopefully these efforts help them to continue to thrive and grow in numbers.

With so much news centered around death and tragedy, sometimes it’s nice to just see some people doing what they can to help.  These gentle giants are a natural beauty and should be protected at all costs.  I highly recommend going on a manatee swimming tour with a guide, you must follow a few rules for the safety of the animals; but it is still very much a magical moment.  Manatees are very curious creatures, and it isn’t strange to have one come right up to you if you are still and patient.  They use the whiskers on their face to sense things since their eyesight it poor, so sometimes they even gently bump you with their face kind of like a cat.  

We really should all try a little harder to reduce our wastes and pollutants, its very important that when you go swimming in natural waters that you use sunscreen that will not harm the ecosystems there, as some types use harsh chemicals that can make the plants and animals sick.  Another thing is supporting climate positive companies; all companies have a grade on climate, if it is a poor grade you might reconsider buying products from that company.  With a little bit of research it is easy to find good companies to support when making your shopping choices.  Another great thing to do is buy second hand.  Thrift shops and yard sales are a great place to find really cute clothes that just aren’t needed anymore.  In fact, the jeans I am wearing right now are second hand, someone was giving them away, and I think they’re adorable.

Well loves, I can’t make life decisions for you, but I do my very best to make it easier.  I know a lot of places in rural Mississippi have little to no options available for recycling; that’s why I have worked so hard to get a can recycling program at school.  I also keep them in my room, so if you have cans, don’t throw them away, throw them at me- ok, just gently, and maybe a heads up first.

With love and Manatee Kisses, Lillian


Works Cited

“A Florida Plan to Save Manatees Is Working — Thanks to 25 Tons of Lettuce.” NBC News, 16 Feb. 2022, www.nbcnews.com/science/science-news/florida-plan-manatees-working-



A manatee saying hi to a friendly diver

Author: Lillian Denney

Award winning writer, Lillian enjoys writing short stories, poems, and other personal works. Lillian also enjoys art, gaming, basketball, and archery. She likes anime and other cartoons. She also enjoys reading but rarely has the time and has been reading "Cell" by Steven King for a year.

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