I was lucky tonight to see a couple of manatees grazing along the edge of the Indian River Lagoon in Rockledge, Florida, and stopped to shoot a little video. They really lived up to their nickname, “the gentle sea cow.” I don’t think I’ve ever seen them elbowing their way onto the rocks at the water’s edge to get their dinner, as you’ll see in this short video.
These creatures, listed as “vulnerable” because of the extreme pressure put on their population by humans, have had a rough time this year in the lagoon, with high numbers dying. I’m disheartened when I see so many lawns in neighborhoods near the river with signs declaring they’ve been treated with fertilizers and pesticides (and for children and pets not to walk on the treated lawns because they’re toxic). I mean, they’re not hiding it – customers are paying people to dump poison on their yards. All of these chemicals flush right into the lagoon, making manatees, dolphins and turtles sick and leading to the fish kills we occasionally see here.
There are such simple steps we can take to keep our natural wonders like the lagoon beautiful and healthy for us and the wildlife.
Here’s the video.