Manatees are oftentimes found traveling close to boat traffic, anticipating their direction in order to avoid a collision. Factors that make this a delicate dance include faster moving vessels and seawalls that reflect engine noises possibly confusing the manatee. Most boaters do not even notice a manatee that may be a few feet from their vessel.
Most manatees are found in Broward County during the colder months traveling to and from areas of warm water. This photograph was taken January 12th, 2006, one week after a strong cold front. That same day, more than 100 manatees were counted near the warm waters discharged from the Fort Lauderdale Power Plant. The manatees pictured here are heading east towards the Intracoastal Waterway on the New River, possibly on their way from their power plant refuge.
For more information, contact the Environmental Protection and Growth Management Department's Natural Resources Planning and Management Division at 954-519-1284.