Standing Watch asks all Florida boaters
to be aware of new federal boating restrictions and enforcement initiatives designed to increase manatee protection.

Sanctuaries and Refuges

On November 1, 2002, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service designated 13
manatee protection areas in eight (8) Florida counties. One area in
Citrus County, one in Pinellas County, and two in Hillsborough County
are designated as manatee sanctuaries in which all waterborne
activities would be prohibited, with exceptions for adjoining property
owners. The remaining 9 areas located in Citrus, Hillsborough,
Sarasota, Charlotte, De Soto, Lee, and Brevard counties are designated
as manatee refuges in which certain waterborne activities are
prohibited or regulated. Waterborne activities are prohibited within the sanctuaries
and watercraft will be required to proceed at "idle
speed" or "slow speed" (as specified) within the refuges. Exceptions
are provided to allow adjacent public and private land owners vessel
and maintenance access, subject to any permitting requirements.

Please carefully review the maps depicting these areas attached or at s.htm. These maps depict the location of the sanctuaries and refuges
and describe the restrictions imposed. For a detailed written description
of the sanctuaries and refuges, see the final rule at

Enforcement Initiatives

FWS has announced that it will increase manatee protection enforcement
initiatives throughout peninsular Florida, including by:

- deploying more enforcement task forces comprised of personnel and
resources from around the country,
- issuing fines of up to $500 for violations of manatee speed zone
restrictions, and
- looking for cases that can be referred to the U.S. Attorney's Office
for civil or criminal "take" prosecution under the Endangered Species
Act or Marine Mammal Protection Act. Take is defined by the ESA as
"harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture or
collect," and is defined by the MMPA as "harass, hunt, capture, or

Accordingly, please be aware of and comply with all speed restrictions
and be particularly cautious in areas where manatees are likely to be
> located.

P.O. Box 296, Estero, FL 33928 E-mail Standing Watch Call Standing Watch
Toll Free 1-866-263-5015 or in office 239-425-2504 ext 293
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