Organizations and businesses working in Florida and committed to protecting our state’s water resources, have submitted comments to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in opposition to their proposed rule to reclassify the West Indian manatee from Endangered to Threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. One of the five factors the FWS is supposed to evaluate is “the present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range.” Manatees rely on healthy aquatic ecosystems, but in Florida, critical water issues stem from upland land use, runoff, and water consumption for human use. Florida faces serious and increasing threats to the quality and quantity of its water supply, which the State of Florida has been unwilling or unable to resolve. Without serious efforts to address threats to Florida’s waterways, manatee habitat will continue to become increasingly fragmented and degraded.
If you would like to sign on to the letter, please contact Cris Costello, Senior Regional Organizing Representative, Sierra Club, email@example.com or 941-914-0421 (cell).