State Manatee Protection
A guide for Boating, Use of Personal
Water Craft, and Swimming in Duval County, 2005.
Duval County Manatee Protection Zones
Boaters & Personal Watercraft
Check the "Latest Sightings" information map for
where manatees have been observed prior to beginning your boating activity.
Observe speed zone signs posted in manatee
habitat areas or travel corridors.
Watch out for manatees or indications that
manatees may be in the area. These indications include: swirls at the water
surface, mud trails, or noses surfacing to breathe.
If you see a manatee in the same area where you
are operating a boat or PWC (Personal Watercraft) stay at least 50 feet away
from the manatee.
Stay in deep water when operating a boat or PWC,
and away from shorelines and grassbeds.
While on the water, wear polarized sunglasses
which provide greater visibility into water.
Help protect manatees in your immediate area by
informing other nearby boat or PWC operators of a manatee's location.
All New Boating Facilities in Duval
- Have no or minimal adverse
impact on manatee movements or on known areas of high manatee use or high
- Have no or minimal dredging to thereby reduce or
eliminate impact to benthic communities and native submerged vegetation and/or
emergent vegitation (Spartina alterniflora or Juncus roemerianus).
- Be compatible with local land use and zoning.
Swimmers, Divers, & Manatee
Although passive and curious, manatees are wild
marine mammals. Giving them water or food can cause them to lose their natural
fear of humans, making them more vulnerable to injury or death. Providing
manatees with plenty of room is the best way to observe their normal behavior in
Do not follow a manatee if it is leaving your
area. Adult manatees can reach weights over a ton and will defend themselves if
Never separate a manatee cow and calf.
Loud noises and splashing are frightening to a
manatee's sensitive hearing.
In addition to being unlawful, disposing of
monofilament line, hooks, or other litter into the water can cause injury or
death to manatees if ingested.
Manatee refuge areas are off limits to humans.
These areas are essential manatee habitats which must remain undisturbed for the
protection of the species.