JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Duval County is stuck on four, four manatees killed by boaters in each for the past two years. With manatee migration to warm waters underway, boaters on the First Coast are reminded of the endangered mammals down below.
"You are hard pressed to find an adult that doesn't have watercraft wounds or scares on the back," said Nadia Gordon a marine biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.
With the arrival of warm weather, boaters are reminded of their responsibilities to watch for manatees and to obey posted signs warning of "no wake zones" and speed limits.
"If they are in the area, please slow vessel down and just be careful," said Lt. John Conboy with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.
Most of the time manatees are found near the shoreline feeding on sea grass, but they can be found at times in the middle of the channel.
On the First Coast the best estimate is that there are 170 manatees during the summer months. Last year 18 were found dead with four being directly connected to being hit by a boat.