WEST PALM BEACH (CBSMiami/AP) – South Florida boaters are being reminded to take it easy in the Intracoastal Waterway and other inland waters because manatees are still in their yearly migration.

In Palm Beach County, the sheriff’s office along with state and local law enforcement offices will be patrolling Palm Beach County waterways Sunday as part of “Operation Mermaid” to raise awareness about manatee safety.

Seasonal speed zones are imposed on many South Florida waterways to protect manatees during their annual migration. In Palm Beach County, that migration typically runs from mid-November through the end of March.

The sheriff’s office says more than 500 manatees have been spotted in Palm Beach County so far during this migration season. In Broward County, more than 1,200 manatees have been counted.

Meanwhile, state scientists were scheduled to perform a necropsy on a dead manatee found Saturday in the inter-coastal waterway off Boynton Beach.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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