Lost Manatees and ‘Careless Boaters' in Neighborhood Canal Worry Local Resident

The resident said the canal is "notorious for careless, speeding boaters"

A resident of Palmetto Bay told NBC 6 he's concerned that a mother manatee and two of her calves are lost in a neighborhood canal known for "careless, speeding boaters."

Craig Merwitzer said he saw the manatees swimming in the canal behind his house Saturday afternoon.

"The problem is that the manatees were swimming in the wrong direction to get back out to open water," Merwitzer told NBC 6 in an email. "And, this C-100 canal is notorious for careless, speeding boaters who could possibly cause great harm to these manatees."

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava has contacted numerous authorities about possibly rescuing the animals, according to Merwitzer.

In January, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced 119 manatees were killed by a boat strike in 2018 – a record number. Toxic red tide algae killed some 91 manatees and is suspected in 118 other deaths.

Overall, 804 manatees died in Florida waters, just shy of the record 830 recorded in 2013.

The numbers were larger than the last two years and among over 800 deaths of the animal in the state last year.
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