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Wildlife Officials Urge Public To Watch Out For Manatees

Keith Ramos

Florida Fish And Wildlife Conservation Commission officials are encouraging people to be especially mindful of manatees this month.

November is Manatee Awareness Month. It's the time of year when manatees migrate to find warmer waters to spend the winter.

"The St. Johns River, the Crystal River, the Ocala River, Weeki Wachee River - these are all places you can see manatees during the winter months," said Ron Mezich, head of the Florida Manatee Management program at FWC.

Manatees can rest or congregate underwater, making them hard to see. Mezich reminds boaters and kayakers to slow down and keep an eye out for the sea cows, as manatees are sometimes called.

Mezich said wearing polarized sunglasses and looking for circular patterns on the water's surface can help to spot manatees.

On Nov. 15, seasonal manatee protection zones go into effect around the state.

You can follow Peter Haden on Twitter @HadenMedia.

Peter Haden is an award-winning investigative reporter and photographer currently working with The Center for Investigative Reporting. His stories are featured in media outlets around the world including NPR, CNN en Español, ECTV Ukraine, USA Today, Qatar Gulf Times, and the Malaysia Star.