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Manatee Migration Underway, New Speed Limits For Boaters In Broward

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Manatees gather in the warm water off near the FPL power plant at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. (CBS4)

Manatees gather in the warm water off near the FPL power plant at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. (CBS4)

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FT LAUDERDALE (AP) — Boaters motoring through Broward’s waterways are being urged to watch out for manatees.

The migration season for the endangered species began Friday. Manatees are now swimming south toward warm water refuges. New speed limits for boaters are now in effect on Broward’s waterways.

Authorities have counted more than 1,200 manatees in Broward waterways, representing 20 percent of the state’s entire manatee population. During warmer periods, manatees tend to move into canals and waterways to forage.

Statewide, 80 of the sea creatures were killed by boats in 2012. Through October of this year, 64 have been killed.

Officials are warning boaters to obey speed limits and wear polarized sunglasses to help spot manatees. The creatures leave large, circular slicks on the surface of the water.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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