The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing THREE ADDITIONAL MANATEE REFUGE ZONES!
The proposed refuges are
(1) the San Carlos Bay Refuge, which includes parts of Caloosahatchee River and San Carlos Bay in Lee County;
(2) the Halifax and Tomoka Rivers Refuge, which includes parts of the Halifax River and associated water bodies in Volusia County;
(3) and the Lower St. Johns River Refuge, encompassing portions of the St. Johns River and adjacent waters in Duval, Clay, and St. Johns Counties.
Ft. Myers, FL - Tuesday, May 13, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Harborside Convention Hall, 1375 Monroe St.;
Daytona Beach, FL - Wednesday, May 14, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Ocean Center, 101 N. Atlantic Ave.; and
Jacksonville, FL - Thursday, May 15, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The University Center, University of North Florida campus, 4567 St. Johns Bluff Rd. South.
If you want to see the entire proposal, you may do so online or it may be requested by mail at U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Attn: Proposed MPA Rule, 6620 Southpoint Drive, Suite 310, Jacksonville, FL 32216-0958, by telephone at 904/232-2580, by fax at 904/232-2404, or by e-mail to [email protected].
IT IS IMPORTANT TO USE SCIENCE to convince USFWS : (1) the reasons why any of these areas should or should not be designated as manatee refuges, including data that support any changes; (2) current or planned activities in the subject areas and their possible effects on manatees; (3) any foreseeable economic or other impacts resulting from the proposed designations; (4) potential adverse effects to the manatee associated with designating manatee protection areas for the species; (5) any actions that could be considered in lieu of, or in conjunction with, the proposed designations that would provide comparable or improved manatee protection; and (6) suggested modifications to the proposed refuge boundaries and reasons for these suggested modifications.
Written comments may be mailed, hand-delivered, faxed, or submitted electronically. Please mail or deliver comments to the address or fax number listed above. Comments submitted electronically should be embedded in the body of the e-mail message itself or attached as a text-file (DOS), and should not use special characters and encryption. Please include "Attn: Proposed MPA Rule," your full name, return address, and, if appropriate, your company, government agency, or organization you represent, in your e-mail message. Comments submitted to [email protected] will receive an automated response confirming receipt of your message.

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