[MARINE_BIOLOGY_INTERNATIONAL] Manatee found dead in Matlacha Pass


Manatee found dead in Matlacha Pass

Jan 01, 2012 6:28 PM EST

A manatee died in Lee County waters Sunday morning after an apparent boating accident.

Neighbors want law enforcement to step up patrols to keep boaters from hitting any more of the endangered animals.

The manatee was discovered near Diane Leroy's dock on Matlacha Pass.

"It's horrible. It's very sad because you can't really do anything. It's too late," she says.

Some neighbors, including retired biologist Nancy Hindenach say it's not too late to raise awareness about the increasing manatee population in this particular area.

"We need more education of the boaters and more enforcement so that people don't come roaring through this area," she says.

FWC says appropriate enforcement is already in place.

"Sometimes, it's people that don't have local knowledge. And it's people visiting for the first time. But most people do obey manatee speed zones," says Joanne Adams from FWC.

FWC reports 440 manatee deaths throughout the state as of mid-December.

The number is the second-highest on record, following 766 deaths in 2010.

Brevard County had the most manatee deaths recorded, with 98. Lee County had 65, followed by Collier County with 28.

NBC News

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