A Manatee of His Word
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) surprised enviros yesterday by taking a tougher stance on protecting manatees than had been expected. He announced that the state won’t approve any more boat slips unless counties have strong plans in place to protect the endangered sea animal, which Bush said is his favorite mammal. Ten years ago, under a different administration, the state ordered 13 coastal counties to develop detailed manatee protection plans, but only four of the counties have done so. Many of the 2,200 to 2,500 manatees remaining in Florida waters bear scars from boat propellers, and this year manatees have been dying at a rate of about one a day, largely because of collisions with boats. Earlier this year, 19 enviro groups filed suits against state and federal agencies for failing to adequately protect the species.