Florida wildlife officials say some manatee food growing back

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Wildlife officials working to prevent Florida manatees from starving to death say they’re encouraged that some of the marine mammals’ favorite food is growing naturally in a key area.

Seagrasses have been found recently in the Indian River Lagoon along Florida’s east coast where chronic pollution has wiped out much of it because of poor water quality, officials said on a Wednesday conference call.

The lack of seagrass during winter months has triggered an unprecedented die-off of manatees, including more than 1,100 last year. The deaths recorded so far in 2022 are at 551.

The state-federal effort in March completed an experimental program that fed manatees more than 202,000 pounds of donated lettuce.

Categories: National News