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.
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