FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Beginning this Tuesday boaters in Broward will have to keep it ‘low and slow’ all week long to protect migrating manatees.
During a meeting last September, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission passed an updated rule to provide additional protection to manatees which travel the Intracoastal and other waterways in Broward County.
Under the new rules, boaters in Broward will have to slow down, not just on weekends but throughout the whole week. From November 15 through March 31, boaters will have to maintain slow speed in portions of the Intracoastal Waterway in the northern part of the county. The updated rules also call for additional slow zones in small areas and a No Entry zone at the Port Everglades power plant discharge canal.
In many areas, the manatee rule changes will not affect boaters, because there are existing year-round boating safety zones that are more restrictive.
Under the new rule it will take boaters 18 minutes longer to travel from one end of the county to the other.
Manatees are protected in the state as a federally endangered species. Broward waters are a popular place for manatees to go to during winter. The aquatic vegetarian mammal migrates in search of warmer waters which are often provided by power plant discharges.