The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), is unveiling its new 2019 manatee and sea turtle decals. These high-quality stickers, featuring beautiful original artwork, are a fun way for people to support the research, rescue and management efforts that conserve these species and spread the word about the challenges they face.
Every July, the FWC introduces new manatee and sea turtle decals that are available with a $5 donation. The waterproof decals are designed to look good on a vehicle’s bumper or the side of a boat, and they can also be found on laptops, water bottles and coolers throughout the state. Get yours when registering or re-registering a vehicle or boat at local tax collector’s offices across the state.
“When someone purchases a manatee or sea turtle decal and displays it, they’re not only contributing financially to conservation,” said Carol Knox, who leads the FWC’s Imperiled Species Management Section. “They’re raising awareness about these species and specific issues they face. It’s a simple way to make a difference for Florida wildlife.”
Over 6,000 manatees swim in the state’s coastal waters, rivers and freshwater springs, and about 20,000 sea turtles nest each year on Florida’s Atlantic and Gulf coast beaches. The decals help fund manatee and sea turtle conservation efforts. For example, when someone calls the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) to report an injured, entangled or sick manatee or sea turtle, FWC staff works with partners to respond and rescue the animal.
The decals also spotlight important conservation issues:
• The “Warm Water Saves Manatees” decal shows several manatees gathering in a spring. Florida manatees require warm-water refuges to survive the winter months. Manatees cannot endure water temperatures below 68 degrees, so warm waters are critical for their survival.
• The “Keep on Swimming” sea turtle decal shows a Kemp’s ridley hatchling. Kemp’s ridleys are the world’s rarest sea turtle. They rarely nest in Florida, but many of them spend most of their lives in Florida waters. Marine debris can have a big impact on Florida’s sea turtles, so make a difference by keeping our beaches clean.
Learn more about how to help conserve manatees and sea turtles at MyFWC.com/Manatee and MyFWC.com/SeaTurtle, where you also can click on “Decals” to order new or past editions of decals. You can also support these species by purchasing a “Save the Manatee” or “Helping Sea Turtles Survive” license plate at your local Tax Collector’s office. For additional information about how to get involved, you can also visit the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida’s website at widlifeflorida.org.